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WTO Membership and the Extensive Margin of World Trade: New Evidence

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  • Gabriel J Felbermayr

    ()

  • Wilhelm Kohler

    ()

Abstract

Recent literature has argued that, contrary to the results of a seminal paper by Rose (2004), WTO membership does promote bilateral trade, at least for developed economies and if membership includes non-formal compliance. We review the literature in order to identify open issues. We then develop the simplest possible "corner-solutions" version of the gravity model which serves as a framework to readdress these issues. We focus on the extensive margin of trade that separates positive-trade from zero-trade country pairs. We argue that the model can be consistently estimated using Poisson pseudo-maximum-likelihood methods with exporter and importer fixed effects. We account for coding issues and the potential heterogeneity of the WTO membership which recent contributions have stressed. While we find that WTO membership increases the likelihood that a given country pair trades, we do not find that the extensive margin has a strong and systematic effect on the average trade-creating potential of the WTO. JEL classifcation: F12, F13

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of Hohenheim, Germany in its series Diskussionspapiere aus dem Institut für Volkswirtschaftslehre der Universität Hohenheim with number 304/2009.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Jan 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hoh:hohdip:304

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Web page: http://www.uni-hohenheim.de/institution/institut-fuer-economics-11
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Keywords: gravity approach; WTO; monopolistic competition; real trade costs;

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  1. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  2. Pao-Li Chang & Myoung-Jae Lee, 2010. "The WTO Trade Effect," Working Papers 31-2010, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  4. Xuepeng Liu, 2009. "GATT/WTO Promotes Trade Strongly: Sample Selection and Model Specification," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 428-446, 08.
  5. Theo S. Eicher & Christian Henn, 2009. "In Search of WTO Trade Effects," IMF Working Papers 09/31, International Monetary Fund.
  6. Deardorff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Papers 95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  7. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2006. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 642-674, December.
  8. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  9. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  10. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  11. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  12. Michael Tomz & Judith L. Goldstein & Douglas Rivers, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2005-2018, December.
  13. Arvind Subramanian & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," NBER Working Papers 10024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
  15. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, December.
  16. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Taglioni, Daria, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Eicher, Theo S. & Henn, Christian, 2011. "In search of WTO trade effects: Preferential trade agreements promote trade strongly, but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 137-153, March.
  19. Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
  21. Andrew K. Rose, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2019-2025, December.
  22. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  23. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
  24. Bogdan Lissovolik & Yaroslav Lissovolik, 2006. "Russia and the WTO: The "Gravity" of Outsider Status," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(1), pages 1.
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Cited by:
  1. Jayjit Roy, 2014. "On the robustness of the trade-inducing effects of trade agreements and currency unions," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 47(1), pages 253-304, August.
  2. Prehn, Sören & Brümmer, Bernhard & Thompson, Stanley R., 2010. "Payment decoupling and the intra-European calf trade," DARE Discussion Papers 1008, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).

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