Thomas Friedman, a very influential and widely read journalist (author of the world is flat), argues that distance is no longer a dominant characteristic of the world economy. Competition is thought to be a race to the bottom, with the lowest-wage countries as the big winners. In contrast, using various methods and data sets, we show that many threats of global competition for the position of the traditionally developed (OECD) countries are unwarranted, that distance still dominates all aspects of international trade, and that there is little evidence of income convergence.

convergence, distance, income levels, leapgrogging, trade
Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics: General (jel E0), International Economics: General (jel F0), Economic History: General (jel N0)
Cambridge journal of regions, economy and society
Erasmus School of Economics

Brakman, S, & van Marrewijk, J.G.M. (2007). It's a big world after all: on the economic impact of location and distance. Cambridge journal of regions, economy and society. Retrieved from