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Distance, time, and specialization

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  • Carolyn Evans
  • James Harrigan

Abstract

Time is money, and distance matters. We model the interaction of these truisms, and show the implications for global specialization and trade: products where timely delivery is important will be produced near the source of final demand, where wages will be higher as a result. In the model, timely delivery is important because it allows retailers to respond to fluctuating final demand without holding costly inventories, and timely delivery is only possible from nearby locations. Using a unique dataset that allows us to measure the retail demand for timely delivery, we show that the sources of US apparel imports have shifted in the way predicted by the model, with products where timeliness matters increasingly imported from nearby countries.

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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 766.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedgif:766

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Related research

Keywords: International trade ; Transportation - Fares;

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  1. Stephen Redding & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "Economic Geography and International Inequality," CEP Discussion Papers dp0495, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Alan V Deardorff, 2004. "Local Comparative Advantage: Trade Costs and the Pattern of Trade," Working Papers 500, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  3. Hummels, David, 2001. "Time as a Trade Barrier," GTAP Working Papers 1152, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  4. Anthony Venables, 2001. "Geography and International Inequalities: The Impact of New Technologies," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 1(2), pages 135-159, June.
  5. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932, December.
  6. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, December.
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