Comparative Advantage, the Rank-size Rule, and Zipf's Law
AbstractUsing a comprehensive international trade data set we investigate empirical regularities (known as Zipf’s Law or the rank-size rule) for the distribution of the interaction between countries as measured by revealed comparative advantage. Using the recently developed estimator by Gabaix and Ibragimov (2006) we find strong evidence in favor of the rank-size rule along the time, country, and sector dimension for three different levels of data aggregation. The estimated power exponents that characterize the distribution of revealed comparative advantage are stable over time but differ between countries and sectors. These differences are related empirically to country and sector characteristics, including population size, GDP, and factor intensities.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 06-100/1.
Date of creation: 06 Nov 2006
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Revealed comparative advantage; Balassa index; rank-size rule; Zipf’s Law; power law; Pareto distribution;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
- C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
- F1 - International Economics - - Trade
- L1 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance
- O5 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies
- R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)
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