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The "distance-varying" gravity model in international economics: is the distance an obstacle to trade?

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  • Vêlayoudom Marimoutou

    ()
    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

  • Denis Peguin

    ()
    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579, Université de Provence - Université de Provence - Aix-Marseille I)

  • Anne Peguin-Feissolle

    ()
    (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - Université de la Méditerranée - Aix-Marseille II - Université Paul Cézanne - Aix-Marseille III - Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales (EHESS) - CNRS : UMR6579)

Abstract

In this paper, we address the problem of the role of the distance between trading partners by assuming the variability of coefficients in a standard gravity model. The distance can be interpreted as an indicator of the cost of entry in a market (a fixed cost): the greater the distance, the higher the entry cost, and the more we need to have a large market to be able to cover a high cost of entry. To explore this idea, the paper uses a method called Flexible Least Squares. By allowing the parameters of the gravity model to vary over the observations, our main result is that the more the partner's GDP is large, the less the distance is an obstacle to trade.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00389570.

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Date of creation: 28 May 2009
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Publication status: Published, Economics Bulletin, 2009, 29, 2, pp. 1157-1173.
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00389570

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Keywords: Gravity Equation; Flexible Least Squares; Geographical Distance;

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  1. Howard J. Wall, 1999. "Using the gravity model to estimate the costs of protection," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 33-40.
  2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  3. Kalaba, Robert E. & Tesfatsion, Leigh S., 1990. "Flexible Least Squares for Approximately Linear Systems," Staff General Research Papers 11190, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  10. Kalaba, Robert & Tesfatsion, Leigh, 1996. "A multicriteria approach to model specification and estimation," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 193-214, February.
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  12. Ploberger, Werner & Kramer, Walter & Kontrus, Karl, 1989. "A new test for structural stability in the linear regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 40(2), pages 307-318, February.
  13. Markusen, James R, 1986. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1002-11, December.
  14. Lutkepohl, Helmut & Herwartz, Helmut, 1996. "Specification of varying coefficient time series models via generalized flexible least squares," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 261-290, January.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra & James A. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 1998. "Undertstanding the Home Market Effect and the Gravity Equation: The Role of Differentiating Goods," NBER Working Papers 6804, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 1997. "Technology and Bilateral Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 79, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  17. Dorfman, Jeffrey H. & Foster, Kenneth A., 1991. "Estimating Productivity Changes With Flexible Coeficients," Western Journal of Agricultural Economics, Western Agricultural Economics Association, vol. 16(02), December.
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