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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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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," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 440-464, December.
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  7. Fujita, Masahisa & Thisse, Jacques-Fran├žois, 1996. "Economics of Agglomeration," CEPR Discussion Papers 1344, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Evenett, S. J. & Keller, W., 1994. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," Working papers 9713, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Egger, Peter, 2000. "A note on the proper econometric specification of the gravity equation," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 25-31, January.
  10. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-25, December.
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  17. 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.
  18. 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. 0, pages 231-248, November.
  19. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "The Seamless World: A Spatial Model of International Specialization," CEPR Discussion Papers 1230, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  23. Eaton, Jonathan & Kortum, Samuel, 2001. "Trade in capital goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(7), pages 1195-1235.
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