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On the effect of the Internet on international trade

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Author Info

  • Caroline L. Freund
  • Diana Weinhold

Abstract

The Internet stimulates trade. Using a gravity equation of trade among 56 countries, we find no evidence of an effect of the Internet on total trade flows in 1995 and only weak evidence of an effect in 1996. However, we find an increasing and significant impact from 1997 to 1999. Specifically, our results imply that a 10 percent increase in the relative number of web hosts in one country would have led to about 1 percent greater trade in 1998 and 1999. Surprisingly, we find that the effect of the Internet on trade has been stronger for poor countries than for rich countries, and that there is little evidence that the Internet has reduced the impact of distance on trade. The evidence is consistent with a model in which the Internet creates a global exchange for goods, thereby reducing market-specific sunk costs of exporting.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.) in its series International Finance Discussion Papers with number 693.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:693

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Keywords: International trade ; Internet;

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References

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  1. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
  2. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  3. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 5565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2000. "Information and Globalization: Wage Co-Movements, Labor Demand Elasticity, and Conventional Trade Liberalization," NBER Working Papers 7671, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1982. "A 'Reciprocal Dumping' Model of International Trade," Working Papers 513, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  7. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  8. Caroline Freund, 2000. "Different Paths To Free Trade: The Gains From Regionalism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1317-1341, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Amin, Mohammad & Haidar, Jamal Ibrahim, 2013. "Trade facilitation and country size," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6692, The World Bank.
  2. Elgin, Ceyhun, 2013. "Internet usage and the shadow economy: Evidence from panel data," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 111-121.
  3. Wilson, John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2004. "Assessing the potential benefit of trade facilitation : A global perspective," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3224, The World Bank.
  4. Bagai, Shweta & Wilson, John S., 2006. "The data chase : what's out there on trade costs and nontariff barriers ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3899, The World Bank.
  5. Djankov, Simeon & Freund, Caroline & Pham, Cong S., 2006. "Trading on time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3909, The World Bank.
  6. Caroline Freund & Diana Weinhold, 2002. "The Internet and International Trade in Services," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 236-240, May.
  7. Wilson,John S. & Mann, Catherine L. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2003. "Trade facilitation and economic development : measuring the impact," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2988, The World Bank.
  8. Choi, Changkyu, 2003. "Does the Internet stimulate inward foreign direct investment?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 319-326, June.
  9. Buch, Claudia M. & Kleinert, Jorn & Toubal, Farid, 2004. "The distance puzzle: on the interpretation of the distance coefficient in gravity equations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 293-298, June.
  10. Wilson, John S. & Otsuki, Tsunehiro, 2007. "Regional integration in South Asia : what role for trade facilitation ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4423, The World Bank.
  11. Azim M. Sadikov, 2007. "Border and Behind-The-Border Trade Barriers and Country Exports," IMF Working Papers 07/292, International Monetary Fund.
  12. Clarke, George R.G. & Wallsten, Scott J., 2004. "Has the internet increased trade? Evidence from industrial and developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3215, The World Bank.
  13. Clarke, George & Wallsten, Scott, 2003. "Has the Internet Increased Trade? Evidence From Developed and Developing Countries," Working paper 100, Regulation2point0.
  14. Fink, Carsten & Mattoo, Aaditya & Neagu, Ileana Cristina, 2005. "Assessing the impact of communication costs on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(2), pages 428-445, December.
  15. Soloaga, Isidro & Wilson, John S. & Mejia, Alejandro, 2006. "Moving forward faster : trade facilitation reform and Mexican competitiveness," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3953, The World Bank.
  16. Meredith A. Crowley & Xi Luo, 2011. "Understanding the great trade collapse of 2008–09 and the subsequent trade recovery," Economic Perspectives, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, issue Q II, pages 44-68.
  17. Jeevika Weerahewa, 2009. "Impact of Trade Facilitation Measures and Regional Trade Agreements on Food and Agricultural Tarde in South Asia," Working Papers 6909, Asia-Pacific Research and Training Network on Trade (ARTNeT), an initiative of UNESCAP and IDRC, Canada..
  18. Nora Dihel & Felix Eschenbach & Ben Shepherd, 2006. "South-South Services Trade," OECD Trade Policy Papers 39, OECD Publishing.
  19. Andre Jungmittag & Paul Welfens, 2009. "Liberalization of EU telecommunications and trade: theory, gravity equation analysis and policy implications," International Economics and Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 6(1), pages 23-39, June.

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