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Estimating the elasticity of trade: the trade share approach

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  • Mauro Lanati
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    Abstract

    Recent theoretical work on international trade emphasizes the importance of trade elasticity as the fundamental statistic needed to conduct welfare analysis. Eaton and Kortum (2002) proposed a two-step method to estimate this parameter, where exporter fixed effects are regressed on proxies for technology and wages. Within the same Ricardian model of trade, the trade share provides an alternative source of identication for the elasticity of trade. Following Santos Silva and Tenreyro (2006) both trade share and EK models are estimated using OLS and Poisson PML to test for the presence of heteroskedasticity-type-of-bias. The evidence from both specifications suggests that the bias in the OLS estimates significantly impacts the magnitude of trade cost elasticity. The welfare analysis reveals that the resulting extreme variability of the trade cost elasticity and the imposition of a common manufacturing share parameter for all countries generate substantial distortions in the calculation of benefits from trade.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2013/10.

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    Date of creation: 23 Apr 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2013/10

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    Keywords: trade cost elasticity; gravity model; competitiveness equation; trade share; gains from international trade;

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    1. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-39, December.
    2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Samuel Kortum & Jonathan Eaton & Robert Dekle, 2007. "Unbalanced Trade," 2007 Meeting Papers 921, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    4. Gourieroux, Christian & Monfort, Alain & Trognon, Alain, 1984. "Pseudo Maximum Likelihood Methods: Theory," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 681-700, May.
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    11. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    12. Santos Silva, Joao & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    13. Macpherson, David A & Hirsch, Barry T, 1995. "Wages and Gender Composition: Why Do Women's Jobs Pay Less?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 13(3), pages 426-71, July.
    14. James E. Anderson & Yoto V. Yotov, 2010. "Specialization: Pro- and Anti-globalizing, 1990-2002," NBER Working Papers 16301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. Michael Baker & Nicole M. Fortin, 2000. "Occupational Gender Composition and Wages in Canada: 1987-1988," CIRANO Working Papers 2000s-48, CIRANO.
    16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
    17. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel S. Kortum & Sebastian Sotelo, 2012. "International Trade: Linking Micro and Macro," NBER Working Papers 17864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
    19. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Ivana Komunjer, 2010. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? A Quantitative Exploration of Ricardo's Ideas," NBER Working Papers 16262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    20. Summers, Robert & Heston, Alan, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950-1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-68, May.
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