International trade flows of cultural goods have grown very rapidly over the last decades and their liberalization will be one of the important issues of future multilateral trade negotiations. Despite these stakes, cultural flows have, to date, not been much studied by trade economists. In this paper, we focus on bilateral trade in cultural goods, such as books, recorded media, visual arts, audio visual media, and we investigate its determinants. Furthermore, we use trade in cultural goods as a proxy for countries’ cultural proximity and study if countries with proximate cultural tastes tend to have more intense bilateral exchanges. Our estimations show a positive and significant influence of cultural flows on overall trade, suggesting that regulations fostering domestic cultural creation might have impacts going beyond what is generally expected.
International trade models and databases; gravity model; simulation
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