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A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade

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  • Roc Armenter
  • Mikl?s Koren

Abstract

Many of the facts about the extensive margin of trade—which firms export, and how many products are sent to how many destinations—are consistent with a surprisingly large class of trade models because of the sparse nature of trade data. We propose a statistical model to account for sparsity, formalizing the assignment of trade shipments to country, product, and firm categories as balls falling into bins. The balls-and-bins model quantitatively reproduces the pattern of zero product- and firm-level trade flows across export destinations, and the frequency of multiproduct, multidestination exporters. In contrast, balls-and-bins overpredicts the fraction of exporting firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Roc Armenter & Mikl?s Koren, 2014. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2127-2151, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:104:y:2014:i:7:p:2127-51 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.104.7.2127
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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