Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Gravity or Dummies? The Limits of Identification in Gravity Estimations

Contents:

Author Info

  • Cecília Hornok

Abstract

Trade economists often estimate gravity equations of international trade with fixed effects. Anderson and van Wincoop (2003, American Economic Review 93, 170–192) have shown the importance of controlling for multilateral trade resistances when estimating a gravity equation. This can be done by including exporter-time and importer-time fixed effects in a panel or exporter and importer fixed effects in a cross section estimation. I argue that this approach limits the identifiability of policy parameters that capture the effect of certain ”club memberships” (EU, NAFTA, euro area, WTO, etc.) on trade flows. I show that, in the baseline case, only one effect can be identified, which precludes, for example, the estimation of separate effects on the exporter and the importer side. The magnitude, and even the sign, of the estimated club effect are very sensitive to the precise identification assumptions, which are often left unspecified in empirical studies. The underlying problem is that club membership provides some, but very little bilateral variation. When heterogeneous club effects are to be identified, the membership dummies can become perfectly collinear with the fixed effects. Empirical researchers may not be aware of the lack of identification, because standard estimation techniques often permit them to run perfectly collinear regressions. I illustrate the findings with estimating the effect of EU enlargement in 2004 on the trade flows of new and old members. Finally, I discuss potential solutions.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://resources.cefig.eu/papers/gravity_or_dummies.pdf
File Function: May 2012 version (pdf)
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Firms in the Global Economy in its series CeFiG Working Papers with number 15.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 26 Sep 2011
Date of revision: 26 Sep 2011
Handle: RePEc:cfg:cfigwp:15

Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://cefig.eu/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-63.
  2. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.
  3. Novy, Dennis, 2008. "Gravity Redux : Measuring International Trade Costs with Panel Data," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 861, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  4. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  5. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
  6. Hornok, Cecília, 2011. "Need for Speed: Is Faster Trade in the EU Trade-creating?," CEPR Discussion Papers 8451, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Flam, Harry & Nordström, Håkan, 2006. "Euro Effects on the Intensive and Extensive Margins of Trade," Seminar Papers 750, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
  8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Baldwin, Richard E. & Skudelny, Frauke & Taglioni, Daria, 2005. "Trade effects of the euro: evidence from sectoral data," Working Paper Series 0446, European Central Bank.
  10. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  11. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2009. "Trade Booms, Trade Busts, and Trade Costs," CESifo Working Paper Series 2767, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Davis, Peter, 2002. "Estimating multi-way error components models with unbalanced data structures," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 106(1), pages 67-95, January.
  13. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Luca De Benedictis & Roberta De Santis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2005. "Hub-and-Spoke or else? Free trade agreements in the “enlarged” European Union," ISAE Working Papers 52, ISTAT - Italian National Institute of Statistics - (Rome, ITALY).
  15. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
  16. Theo S. Eicher & Christian Henn, 2008. "In Search of WTO Trade Effects: Preferential Trade Agreements Promote Trade Strongly, But Unevenly," Working Papers UWEC-2008-22-FC, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Taglioni, Daria, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2003. "The proper panel econometric specification of the gravity equation: A three-way model with bilateral interaction effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 28(3), pages 571-580, July.
  19. Cecília Hornok, 2010. "Trade-Enhancing EU Enlargement and the Resurgence of East-East Trade," Focus on European Economic Integration, Oesterreichische Nationalbank (Austrian Central Bank), issue 3, pages 79-94.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. László Balázsi & László Mátyás & Tom Wansbeek, 2014. "The Estimation of Multi-dimensional Fixed Effects Panel Data Models," CEU Working Papers 2014_1, Department of Economics, Central European University, revised 10 Feb 2014.
  2. Maria Cipollina & Luca Salvatici & Luca De Benedictis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2013. "A note on dummies for policies in gravity models: a Montecarlo experiment," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0180, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
  3. Pierluigi Montalbano & Silvia Nenci, 2012. "Assessing the Trade Impact of the European Neighborhood Policy on EU-MED Free Trade Area," Working Paper Series 3112, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  4. Lavinia Rotili, 2014. "The Euro effects on intermediate and final exports," Working Papers 7/14, Sapienza University of Rome, DISS.
  5. László Mátyás & László Balázsi, 2012. "The Estimation of Multi-dimensional Fixed Effects Panel Data Models," CEU Working Papers 2012_2, Department of Economics, Central European University, revised 18 Feb 2013.
  6. Miroudot, Sebastien & Shepherd, Ben, 2012. "The paradox of “preferences”: regional trade agreements and trade costs in services," MPRA Paper 41090, University Library of Munich, Germany.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cfg:cfigwp:15. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Miklós Koren) The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask Miklós Koren to update the entry or send us the correct address.

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.