Jacques Melitz & Farid Toubal , 2018.
"Somatic Distance, Trust and Trade,"
CEPII Working Paper 2018- 11 , September 2018 , CEPII.
Somatic distance, or differences in physical appearance, proves to be extremely important in the gravity model of bilateral trade in conformity with results in other areas of economics and outside in the social sciences. This is also true independently of survey evidence about bilateral trust. These findings are obtained in a sample of the 15 members of the European Economic Association in 1996. Robustness tests also show that somatic distance, as well as co-ancestry, has a more reliable influence on bilateral trade than the other cultural variables. The article finally discusses the interpretation and breadth of application of these results.
Somatic Distance ; Cultural Interactions ; Co-ancestry ; Trust ; Language