Melting Ice Caps and the Economic Impact of Opening the Northern Sea Route
We examine the economic impact of the opening of the Northern Sea Route in a multi-sector Eaton and Kortum model with intermediate linkages. This includes a remarkable shift of bilateral trade flows between Asia and Europe, diversion of trade within Europe, heavy shipping traffic in the Arctic, and a substantial drop in traffic through Suez. These global trade changes are reflected in real income and welfare effects for the countries involved. The estimated redirection of trade has also major geopolitical implications: the reorganisation of global supply chains within Europe and between Europe and Asia, and the highlighted political interest and environmental pressure on the Arctic.