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The Network Structure of International Trade

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  • Thomas Chaney

Abstract

I build a simple dynamic model of the formation of an international social network of importers and exporters. Firms can only export into markets in which they have a contact. They acquire new contacts both at random, and via their network of existing contacts. This model explains (i) the cross-sectional distribution of the number of foreign markets accessed by individual exporters, (ii) the cross-sectional geographic distribution of foreign contacts, and (iii) the dynamics of firm level exports. I show that the firm level dynamics of trade can explain the observed cross section of firm level exports. All theoretical predictions are supported by the data.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16753.

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Date of creation: Jan 2011
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Publication status: published as “The Network Structure of International Trade.” American Economic Review, forthcoming.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16753

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  1. Matthew O. Jackson & Brian W. Rogers, 2007. "Meeting Strangers and Friends of Friends: How Random Are Social Networks?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(3), pages 890-915, June.
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  11. Burchardi, Konrad B. & Hassan, Tarek, 2011. "The Economic Impact of Social Ties: Evidence from German Reunification," CEPR Discussion Papers 8470, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  13. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. JaeBin Ahn & Amit K. Khandelwal & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "The Role of Intermediaries in Facilitating Trade," NBER Working Papers 15706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  16. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
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