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Estimating the Extensive Margin of Trade

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  • J.M.C. Santos Silva

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  • Silvana Tenreyro
  • Kehai Wei

Abstract

Understanding and quantifying the determinants of the number of sectors or firms exporting in a given country is of relevance for the assessment of trade policies. Estimation of models for the number of sectors, however, poses a challenge because the dependent variable has both a lower and upper bound, implying that the partial effects of the explanatory variables on the conditional mean of the dependent variable cannot be constant and must approach zero as the dependent variable approaches the bounds. We argue that ignoring these bounds by using OLS or count-data models that ignore the upper bound can lead to erroneous conclusions due to the model's misspecification. We propose a flexible specification that accounts for the doubly-bounded nature of the dependent variable. We empirically investigate the problem and the proposed solution, and find significant differences between estimates obtained with the proposed estimator and those obtained with standard approaches.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 721.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 2012
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:721

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  1. Richard Baldwin Virginia Di Nino, 2006. "Euros and zeros: The common currency effect on trade in new goods," IHEID Working Papers 21-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 31 Oct 2006.
  2. Armenter, Roc & Koren, Miklós, 2010. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7783, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  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. Dennis, Allen & Shepherd, Ben, 2007. "Trade costs, barriers to entry, and export diversification in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4368, The World Bank.
  5. Hillberry, Russell H. & McDaniel, Christine A., 2002. "A Decomposition of North American Trade Growth since NAFTA," Working Papers 15866, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
  6. Esmeralda A. Ramalho & Joaquim J.S. Ramalho & José M.R. Murteira, 2009. "Alternative estimating and testing empirical strategies for fractional regression models," CEFAGE-UE Working Papers 2009_08, University of Evora, CEFAGE-UE (Portugal).
  7. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2009. "Trade Openness and Volatility," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 91(3), pages 558-585, August.
  8. Johansson, Per & Palme, Marten, 1996. "Do economic incentives affect work absence? Empirical evidence using Swedish micro data," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 195-218, February.
  9. Santos Silva, J.M.C. & Murteira, J.M.R., 2009. "Estimation of default probabilities using incomplete contracts data," Journal of Empirical Finance, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 457-465, June.
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