NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Comparative Advantage and the Welfare Impact of European Integration

Andrei A. Levchenko, Jing Zhang

NBER Working Paper No. 18061
Issued in May 2012
NBER Program(s):   IFM   ITI

This paper investigates the welfare gains from European trade integration, and the role of comparative advantage in determining the magnitude of those gains. We use a multisector Ricardian model implemented on 79 countries, and compare welfare in the 2000s to a counterfactual scenario in which East European countries are closed to trade. For West European countries, the mean welfare gain from trade integration with Eastern Europe is 0.16%, rang- ing from zero for Portugal to 0.4% for Austria. For East European countries, gains from trade are 9.23% at the mean, ranging from 2.85% for Russia to 20% for Estonia. For Eastern Europe, comparative advantage is a key determinant of the variation in the welfare gains: countries whose comparative advantage is most similar to Western Europe tend to gain less, while countries with technology most different from Western Europe gain the most.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18061

Published: Andrei A. Levchenko & Jing Zhang, 2012. "Comparative advantage and the welfare impact of European integration," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 27(72), pages 567-602, October.

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