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A Spatial Theory of Trade

  • Esteban Rossi-Hansberg

The equilibrium relationship between trade and the spatial distribution of economic activity is fundamental to the analysis of national and regional trade patterns, as well as to the effect of trade frictions. We study this relationship using a trade model with a continuum of regions, transport costs, and agglomeration effects caused by production externalities. We analyze the equilibrium specialization and trade patterns for different levels of transport costs and externality parameters. Understanding trade via the distribution of economic activity in space naturally rationalizes the evidence on border effects and the "gravity equation."

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/000282805775014371
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec05_app_20030648.pdf
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Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 95 (2005)
Issue (Month): 5 (December)
Pages: 1464-1491

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:95:y:2005:i:5:p:1464-1491
Note: DOI: 10.1257/000282805775014371
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  2. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J, 1996. "The Spread of Industry: Spatial Agglomeration in Economic Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 1354, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  11. Thomas J. Holmes, 1998. "The Effect of State Policies on the Location of Manufacturing: Evidence from State Borders," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(4), pages 667-705, August.
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  16. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  17. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Trade in Capital Goods," Boston University - Department of Economics - The Institute for Economic Development Working Papers Series dp-109, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  18. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  19. Egger, Peter, 2000. "A note on the proper econometric specification of the gravity equation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-31, January.
  20. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
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  23. Karl Aiginger & Stephen W. Davies, 2004. "Industrial specialisation and geographic concentration: Two sides of the same coin? Not for the European Union," Journal of Applied Economics, Universidad del CEMA, vol. 7, pages 231-248, November.
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