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Time as a Trade Barrier

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  • David L. Hummels
  • Georg Schaur

Abstract

A large and growing share of world trade travels by air. We model exporters' choice between fast, expensive air cargo and slow, cheap ocean cargo, which depends on the price elasticity of demand and the value that consumers attach to fast delivery. We use US imports data that provide rich variation in the premium paid for air shipping and in time lags for ocean transit to extract consumers' valuation of time. We estimate that each day in transit is equivalent to an advalorem tariff of 0.6 to 2.1 percent. The most time-sensitive trade flows involve parts and components trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 103 (2013)
Issue (Month): 7 (December)
Pages: 2935-59

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:103:y:2013:i:7:p:2935-59

Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.103.7.2935
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References

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  1. Amit Khandelwal, 2010. "The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 77(4), pages 1450-1476.
  2. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  4. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  5. Hummels, David L. & Schaur, Georg, 2010. "Hedging price volatility using fast transport," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 15-25, September.
  6. David Hummels & Rasmus J?rgensen & Jakob Munch & Chong Xiang, 2014. "The Wage Effects of Offshoring: Evidence from Danish Matched Worker-Firm Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(6), pages 1597-1629, June.
  7. Choi, Yo Chul & Hummels, David & Xiang, Chong, 2009. "Explaining import quality: The role of the income distribution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 293-303, July.
  8. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy & Alexandre Skiba, 2007. "The Trade Reducing Effects of Market Power in International Shipping," NBER Working Papers 12914, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Simeon Djankov & Caroline Freund & Cong S. Pham, 2010. "Trading on Time," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 166-173, February.
  10. James Harrigan & Carolyn Evans, 2004. "Distance, Time and Specialization," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 640, Econometric Society.
  11. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2011. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 126(1), pages 417-474.
  12. Cristea, Anca & Hummels, David & Puzzello, Laura & Avetisyan, Misak, 2013. "Trade and the greenhouse gas emissions from international freight transport," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 153-173.
  13. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
  14. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  15. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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