Estimation of the Gravity Equation in the Presence of Zero Flows
AbstractThe gravity model is the workhorse model to describe and explain variation in bilateral trade patterns. Consistent with both Heckscher-Ohlin models and models of imperfect competition and trade, this versatile model has proven to be very successful, explaining a large part of the variance in trade flows. However, the log-linear model cannot straightforwardly account for the occurrence of zero-valued trade flows between pairs of countries. This paper investigates the various approaches suggested to deal with zero flows. Apart from the option to omit the zero flows from the sample, various extensions of Tobit estimation, truncated regression, probit regression and substitutions for zero flows have been suggested. We argue that the choice of method should be based on both economic and econometric considerations. The sample selection model appears to fit both considerations best. Moreover, we show that the choice of method may matter greatly for the results. In the end, the results surprisingly suggest that the simplest solution, to omit zero flows from the sample, often leads to acceptable results, although the sample selection model is preferred theoretically and econometrically.
Download InfoIf 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.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-072/3.
Date of creation: 14 Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tinbergen.nl
bilateral trade; gravity model; zero flows; sample selection model;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
- F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
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.:
- Buch, Claudia M. & Kleinert, Jorn & Toubal, Farid, 2004.
"The distance puzzle: on the interpretation of the distance coefficient in gravity equations,"
Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 293-298, June.
- Claudia M. Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2003. "The Distance Puzzle: On the Interpretation of the Distance Coefficient in Gravity Equations," Kiel Working Papers 1159, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
- Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1998.
"The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows,"
in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 33-62
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Egger, Peter, 2000.
"A note on the proper econometric specification of the gravity equation,"
Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-31, January.
- Peter Egger, . "A Note on the Proper Econometric Specification of the Gravity Equation," WIFO Working Papers 108, WIFO.
- Gronau, Reuben, 1974.
"Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias,"
Journal of Political Economy,
University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
- James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002.
"Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
- James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
- Soloaga, Isidro & Winters, L. Alan, 1999.
"Regionalism in the Nineties: What Effect on Trade?,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
2183, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
- 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.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," NBER Working Papers 9273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
- Ga�l Raballand, 2003. "Determinants of the Negative Impact of Being Landlocked on Trade: An Empirical Investigation Through the Central Asian Case," Comparative Economic Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 45(4), pages 520-536, December.
- James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004.
Journal of Economic Literature,
American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
- Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR & CES & MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
- Deardorff, A.V., 1995.
"Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?,"
95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
- Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J, 1979.
"Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error,"
Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
- Jacob A. Bikker & Aart F. De Vos, 1992. "An international trade flow model with zero observations: an extension of the Tobit model," Brussels Economic Review, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles, vol. 135, pages 379-404.
- Rauch, James E., 1999.
"Networks versus markets in international trade,"
Journal of International Economics,
Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
- van Bergeijk, Peter A G & Oldersma, Harry, 1990. "Detente, Market-Oriented Reform and German Unification: Potential Consequences for the World Trade System," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(4), pages 599-609.
- Cragg, John G, 1971. "Some Statistical Models for Limited Dependent Variables with Application to the Demand for Durable Goods," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 39(5), pages 829-44, September.
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page. reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral 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: (Antoine Maartens (+31 626 - 160 892)).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.