Like Me, Buy Me: The Effect of Soft Power on Exports
In this paper I quantify a gain that a country receives when its global influence is considered to be admirable by others. I use a standard gravity model of bilateral exports, a panel of data from 2006 through 2013, and an annual survey conducted for the BBC by GlobeScan which asks people in up to 46 countries about whether each of up to 17 countries were perceived to have “a mainly positive or negative influence in the world.” Holding other things constant, a country’s exports are higher if it is perceived by the importer to be exerting more positive global influence. This effect is statistically and economically significant; a one percent net increase in perceived positive influence raises exports by around .8 percent. Succinctly, countries receive a commercial return on their soft power.
B.T. Rocca Jr. Professor of International Business, Associate Dean, and Chair of the Faculty, Haas School of Business at the University of California, Berkeley, NBER Research Associate, CEPR Research Fellow, and ABFER Senior Fellow. The data set, key output, and a current version of this paper are available online. This paper was inspired by discussions (and initial, unsuccessful, but related work) with Jeffrey Frankel, to whom I owe a debt. For comments and help, I thank: Lionel Bellier from GlobeScan; Steven Kull from PIPA. For hospitality during the course of writing this paper, I thank the National University of Singapore, which I visited as MAS Term Professor. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Andrew K. Rose, 2016. "Like Me, Buy Me: The Effect of Soft Power on Exports," Economics & Politics, . citation courtesy of