International politics and the disaggregation of major-power trade, 1962-1997

Horace A. Bartilow, D. Stephen Voss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Previous research indicates that a country's international commerce usually tracks the pattern of its diplomatic entanglements. As the evidence for this observation comes from overall trade statistics, however, analysts have had little ability to probe the sources of the linkage. This study uses major-power trade data from 1962 to 1997, disaggregated by economic sector, within an elaborated 'gravity model' that parses out some of the potential causal paths. Our results indicate that, while (1) commercial exchanges among major powers did 'follow the flag' (2) within all sectors during the period under study, not only those with immediately military value, (3) national traits that are causally prior to foreign relations, but often excluded from studies of international trade, also predicted trade in each sector, and (4) the major-power democracies did not show any particular favoritism to each other after these national differences in trade activity are considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)362-383
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Politics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
1 We would like to thank the editor and the journals reviewers for comments on and assistance with earlier drafts. Bartilow received a grant from the University of Kentucky to fund the data collection and analysis.


  • Foreign relations
  • International trade
  • Major powers
  • Military value

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Political Science and International Relations


Dive into the research topics of 'International politics and the disaggregation of major-power trade, 1962-1997'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this