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Per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade

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  • Hepenstrick, Christian
  • Tarasov, Alexander

Abstract

This paper quantitatively explores the role of the demand structure in explaining the relationship between an importer's per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade. The underlying mechanism is based on the fact that agents expand the set of goods they consume with income. This in turn affects the structure of a country's import demand and therewith the extensive margin of trade. We formalize this intuition by incorporating preferences that allow for binding non-negativity constraints into an otherwise standard Ricardian multi-country model. We quantify the model using the data on US consumer expenditures and aggregate values of bilateral trade flows and find that the behavior of the model's extensive margin of bilateral trade is consistent with the data (as opposed to the standard model). Two popular counterfactual experiments - lower trade costs and the rise of China and India - demonstrate that the mechanism outlined in this paper is indeed quantitatively important.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Discussion Papers in Economics with number 14231.

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Date of creation: Nov 2012
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Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:14231

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Keywords: Non-homothetic preferences; extensive margin; Ricardian trade;

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References

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2009. "Globalization and Individual Gains from Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 7448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Hepenstrick, Christian & Tarasov, Alexander, 2013. "Trade Openness and Cross-country Income Differences," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 402, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
  3. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
  4. repec:lmu:muenec:15421 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2012. "Globalization and Individual Gains from Trade (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1218, CIRPEE.

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