Post-Soviet Central Asia and Russia trade: Back to Big Brother?

Mazhikeyev, Arman and Edwards, Huw (2021) Post-Soviet Central Asia and Russia trade: Back to Big Brother? Economic Change and Restructuring, 54 . pp. 877-918. ISSN 1574-0277, 1573-9414

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Post‑colonial trade between Russia and former Soviet republics: back to big brother?
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We examine the developments in trade patterns between the former Soviet republics in the years following the initial breakup shock. After a huge fall following the Soviet breakup of the early 1990s, Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) trade with Russia began improving, and there have been recent formal efforts at Eurasian Economic Integration. This might be taken, a priori, as contrary to the hypothesis of gradual decline in Head, Mayer and Ries (HMR in J Int Econ 81(1):1–14, 2010)—or perhaps as evidence of the power of restored trade agreements, such as the incipient Eurasian Economic Union. We decompose the region’s trade into theory-consistent ‘gravity’ components, in order to analyze dynamic changes in the components since the Soviet era. Despite the sharp falls after 1991, trade in 1995 still shows strong ties, consistent with high dyadic (country pair) components linked to trade specialization. By contrast, in the second decade, the ties (dyads) began to weaken significantly and calibrated trade costs tend to rise, despite attempts at renewed integration. Rather, the sharp improvement in trade volumes was mainly due to the sharp recoveries in GDP levels for both Russia and many of the Central Asian Countries, associated with improvements in the global economy and economic ties with the World (especially with EU and China). We would therefore conclude that the recovery in trade between Russia and Central Asia reflects monadic factors (i.e., the regional economic recovery) and does not contradict the HMR (2010) hypothesis. Nevertheless, further, dynamic analysis shows that there are strong long-run ties within the CIS and Russia, which are not declining, and that sticky post-colonial adjustment does not appear set to eliminate the current bias of trade between these republics.

Keywords:Trade, Post-colonial ties, Former Soviet Union
Subjects:L Social studies > L160 International Economics
Divisions:Lincoln International Business School
ID Code:51808
Deposited On:31 Oct 2022 15:31

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