On the Death of Distance and Borders: Evidence from the Nineteenth Century
NBER Working Paper No. 15250
In this paper, we investigate time-dependent border and distance effects in the nineteenth century and document clear declines in the importance of these variables through time. What this suggests, in light of the work for the post-1950 era, is that researchers might have correctly identified the increasing effect of distance on bilateral trade over time. In other words, trade costs may have not declined nearly as dramatically in the late twentieth century as has been supposed, especially in light of the nineteenth century, a time of documented trade cost decline and commodity market integration.
Published: Jacks, David S., 2009. "On the death of distance and borders: Evidence from the nineteenth century," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(3), pages 230-233, December.