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Does Trade Integration Contribute To Peace?

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Executive Summary

This paper investigates the effect of trade integration on military conflict. The empirical analysis, based on a large panel data set of 290,040 country-pair observations from 1950 to 2000, confirms that an increase in bilateral trade interdependence and global trade openness significantly promotes peace. It also suggests that the effect of trade openness varies depending on the geographical proximity of countries. The peace-promotion effect of bilateral trade integration is significantly higher for contiguous countries that are likely to experience more conflicts. The analysis shows, however, that an increase in global trade openness reduces the probability of conflict more for countries far apart from each other than it does for countries sharing borders.

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