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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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  19. 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.
  20. Guy Dumais & Glenn Ellison & Edward L Glaeser, 1998. "Geographic Concentration as a Dynamic Process," Working Papers 98-3, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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