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Estimating the gravity equation with the actual number of exporting firms

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  • Asier Minondo

    (Deusto Business School)

  • Francisco Requena-Silvente

    (Universidad de Valencia)

Abstract

To estimate correctly the effect of variable trade costs on firms' exports, the gravity equation should control for the number of firms that participate in foreign markets. Due to the absence of these data, previous studies control for this omitted variable using econometric strategies that may also lead to inconsistent estimations. To overcome this problem the present paper estimates a gravity equation using a new database compiled by the OECD and Eurostat that reports the number of exporting firms by reporter and partner country. We show that no controlling for the extensive margin of trade introduces very serious biases in the estimated trade cost coefficients. Moreover, these biases are much larger than predicted by previous studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia in its series Working Papers with number 1121.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1121

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Keywords: gravity equation; exporting firms; distance; trade costs;

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  1. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
  2. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2009. "The Olympic effect," Working Paper Series 2009-06, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  3. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2008. "Trade responses to geographic frictions: A decomposition using micro-data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 527-550, April.
  4. 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.
  5. Bernard, Andrew & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J & Schott, Peter, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Keith Head & John Ries & Thierry Mayer, 2008. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Sciences Po publications 6951, Sciences Po.
  7. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Thierry Mayer, . "The happy few: the internationalisation of European firms," Blueprints, Bruegel, number 12, June.
  11. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
  12. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. J.M.C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2008. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes:Implementing the Helpman-Melitz-Rubinstein Model Empirically," Economics Discussion Papers 662, University of Essex, Department of Economics.
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