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The Distance Effects on the Intensive and Extensive Margins of Trade Over Time

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The empirical trade literature has long been puzzled by the finding of a large and non-decreasing distance coefficient in the gravity equation amid falling transportation costs over time. To shed new light on this puzzle, the recent theoretical literature shifts its focus to the differential effects of distance on the extensive and intensive margins of trade. However, so far there is a lack of corresponding contributions from studies of empirical gravity equations. This paper provides the first evidence using data for about 150-200 countries between the years 1980 and 2009. Extensive and intensive margins are measured based on bilateral trade data of more than 3100 product items. It is found that the distance effect on the extensive margins declines while that on the intensive margins rises over time. The same conclusion is reached when the distance effects are allowed to be sector-specific.

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File URL: http://www.uq.edu.au/economics/abstract/488.pdf
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia in its series Discussion Papers Series with number 488.

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Date of creation: 16 Oct 2013
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Handle: RePEc:qld:uq2004:488

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  1. 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.
  2. Céline CARRERE & Maurice SCHIFF, 2004. "On the Geography of Trade: Distance is Alive and Well," Working Papers 200423, CERDI.
  3. Krautheim, Sebastian, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms, exporter networks and the effect of distance on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 27-35.
  4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2012. "Death of distance and the distance puzzle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 225-228.
  6. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
  7. Yotov, Yoto V., 2012. "A simple solution to the distance puzzle in international trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 794-798.
  8. 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.
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