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The Duration of Trade Revisited: Continuous-Time vs. Discrete-Time Hazards

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Author Info

  • Hess, Wolfgang

    ()
    (Lund University)

  • Persson, Maria

    ()
    (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

The recent literature on the duration of trade has predominantly analyzed the determinants of trade flow durations using Cox proportional hazards models. The purpose of this paper is to show why it is inappropriate to analyze the duration of trade with continuous-time models such as the Cox model, and to propose alternative discrete-time models which are more suitable for estimation. Briefly, the Cox model has three major drawbacks when applied to large trade data sets. First, it faces problems in the presence of many tied duration times, leading to biased coefficient estimates and standard errors. Second, it is difficult to properly control for unobserved heterogeneity, which can result in spurious duration dependence and parameter bias. Third, the Cox model imposes the restrictive and empirically questionable assumption of proportional hazards. By contrast, with discrete-time models there is no problem handling ties; unobserved heterogeneity can be controlled for without difficulty; and the restrictive proportional hazards assumption can easily be bypassed. By replicating an influential study by Besedeš and Prusa from 2006, but employing discrete-time models as well as the original Cox model, we find empirical support for each of these arguments against the Cox model. Moreover, when comparing estimation results obtained from a Cox model and our preferred discrete-time specification, we find significant differences in both the predicted hazard rates and the estimated effects of explanatory variables on the hazard. In other words, the choice between models affects the conclusions that can be drawn.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research Institute of Industrial Economics in its series Working Paper Series with number 829.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: 13 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0829

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Keywords: Duration of Trade; Continuous-Time versus Discrete-Time Hazard Models; Proportional Hazards; Unobserved Heterogeneity;

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References

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  1. Van den Berg, Gerard J., 2000. "Duration Models: Specification, Identification, and Multiple Durations," MPRA Paper 9446, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Tibor Besedes & Thomas Prusa, 2006. "Ins, outs, and the duration of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 266-295, February.
  3. Tibor Besedes & Thomas J. Prusa, 2007. "The Role of Extensive and Intensive Margins and Export Growth," NBER Working Papers 13628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Nicoletti, Cheti & Rondinelli, Concetta, 2010. "The (mis)specification of discrete duration models with unobserved heterogeneity: A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 159(1), pages 1-13, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Florian Mayneris & Sandra Poncet, 2011. "Entry on difficult export markets by Chinese domestic firms: the role of foreign export spillovers," Working Papers 2011-32, CEPII research center.
  2. Stirbat, Liviu & Record, Richard & Nghardsaysone, Konesawang, 2013. "Determinants of export survival in the Lao PDR," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6301, The World Bank.
  3. Wolfgang Hess & Maria Persson, 2011. "Exploring the duration of EU imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 147(4), pages 665-692, November.
  4. Olivier Cadot & Leonardo Iacovone & Denisse Pierola & Ferdinand Rauch, 2011. "Success and Failure of African Exporters," CEP Discussion Papers dp1054, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Tibor Besedeš, 2013. "The Role of NAFTA and Returns to Scale in Export Duration," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 306-336, June.
  6. Mayneris, Florian & Poncet, Sandra, 2013. "Chinese firms'entry to export markets : the role of foreign export spillovers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6398, The World Bank.
  7. Besedes, Tibor, 2010. "Export Differentiation in Transition Economies," MPRA Paper 26362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler & Tillmann Schwörer, 2011. "US based NGOs in International Development Cooperation: Survival of the Fittest?," DEGIT Conference Papers c016_046, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  9. Hess , Wolfgang & Persson, Maria, 2011. "Exploring the Long-Term Evolution of Trade Survival," Working Paper Series 880, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.

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