Transaction Costs as Barriers to Economic integration in Asia: An Empirical Exploration

AbstractRecent literature has emphasized the importance of transaction costs and infrastructure in explaining trade, access to markets, and regional cooperation under globalization. For most Asian countries, transaction cost works as a strong barrier to trade integration than import tariff. By estimating a structural model of economic geography using cross-country data on income, infrastructure, transaction costs and trade of selected Asian economies, this paper provides evidence that transaction cost is statistically significant and important in explaining variation in trade in Asia. In addition, the study also finds that port efficiency and infrastructure quality are two important determinants of transaction costs.