Civil War Boundary in U.S. Affects Trade to This Day

The line separating what used to be the Union and the Confederacy in America reduces trade between states of the former North and South by 13% to 14%, an effect that is strongest in food, manufacturing, and chemicals, say Gabriel Felbermayr and Jasmin Gröschl of the University of Munich in Germany. Possible reasons: The South’s secession 150 years ago may have had long-term effects on business-to-business trust and consumer preferences for goods, the researchers say. By comparison, the former border between East and West Germany restricts trade by about 26% to 30%.

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