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

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  • 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. Dolton, Peter J & van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 1995. "Leaving Teaching in the UK: A Duration Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(429), pages 431-44, March.
  2. 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.
  3. Baker, Michael & Melino, Angelo, 2000. "Duration dependence and nonparametric heterogeneity: A Monte Carlo study," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 357-393, June.
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  17. Tibor Besedeš, 2008. "A Search Cost Perspective on Formation and Duration of Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 835-849, November.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. Hess, Wolfgang & Persson, Maria, 2010. "Exploring the Duration of EU Imports," Working Paper Series 849, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  3. Tibor Besedeš, 2011. "The Role of NAFTA and Returns to Scale in Export Duration," CeFiG Working Papers 17, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 01 Dec 2011.
  4. Cadot, Olivier & Iacovone, Leonardo & Pierola, Denisse & Rauch, Ferdinand, 2011. "Success and failure of African exporters," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5657, The World Bank.
  5. Besedes, Tibor, 2010. "Export Differentiation in Transition Economies," MPRA Paper 26362, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Stirbat, Liviu & Record, Richard & Nghardsaysone, Konesawang, 2013. "Determinants of export survival in the Lao PDR," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6301, The World Bank.
  7. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler & Tillmann Schwörer, 2011. "US based NGOs in International Development Cooperation: Survival of the Fittest?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 83, Courant Research Centre PEG.
  8. MAYNERIS, Florian & PONCET, Sandra, 2011. "Entry on difficult export markets by Chinese domestic firms: the role of foreign export spillovers," CORE Discussion Papers 2011063, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  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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