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Nationalism and international trade: theory and evidence

Lan, Xiaohuan and Li, Ben (2011): Nationalism and international trade: theory and evidence.

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Abstract

This paper provides an economic framework to analyze the relationship between nationalistic sentiments and international trade. Nationalistic sentiments respond to economic interests, and in particular they vary according to the relative importance of the domestic market to local economies. Nationalistic sentiments are weaker (stronger) where the local economy relies more on exports (domestic sales). Our paper tests this theory using a unique dataset collected across 218 Chinese cities. We document a negative association between nationalistic sentiments and dependence on exports, conditional on a wide range of city characteristics including political ideologies of residents and local business climate.

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