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Estimating The Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade

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  • Daniel Bernhofen
  • Zouheir El-Sahli
  • Richard Kneller

Abstract

We quantify the effects of the container revolution on a large panel of product level trade flows during 1962-1990. We exploit time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ first adoption of container facilities to construct a time-varying bilateral container technology variable and estimate its effects on trade in the panel. On North-North trade, the cumulative average treatment effects of containerization over a 20 year time period amount to about 700%, can be interpreted as causal and are larger than the standard policy liberalization variables. In a nutshell, we provide the first econometric evidence for containerization to be a driver of 20th century economic globalization.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013-02.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:13/02

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Keywords: containerization; 20th century global transportation infrastructure.;

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  1. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
  2. Scott L. Baier & Jeffrey H. Bergstrand, 2005. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members’ international trade?," Working Paper 2005-03, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.
  3. Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson, 2008. "Port Efficiency and Trade Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, 02.
  4. Clark, Ximena & Dollar, David & Micco, Alejandro, 2004. "Port efficiency, maritime transport costs, and bilateral trade," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 417-450, December.
  5. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  6. 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.
  7. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
  8. Mokyr, Joel, 1992. "The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195074772, September.
  9. Theo Notteboom & Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2008. "Containerisation, Box Logistics and Global Supply Chains: The Integration of Ports and Liner Shipping Networks," Maritime Economics and Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 10(1-2), pages 152-174, March.
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Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. New historical development papers on my desk
    by Robin in Cherokee Gothic on 2013-04-18 13:00:05
  2. Containerization and world trade
    by Economic Logician in Economic Logic on 2013-09-11 14:36:00
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Cited by:
  1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What Separates Us? Sources of Resistance to Globalization," Working Papers 2013-26, CEPII research center.
  2. Matthew O. Jackson & Stephen M. Nei, 2014. "Networks of Military Alliances, Wars, and International Trade," Papers 1405.6400, arXiv.org.
  3. Stephen J. Redding & Matthew A. Turner, 2014. "Transportation Costs and the Spatial Organization of Economic Activity," CEP Discussion Papers dp1277, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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