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Measured Aggregate Gains from International Trade

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  • Ariel Burstein
  • Javier Cravino

Abstract

We examine the implications of workhorse trade models for how aggregate productivity, real GDP and real consumption, as measured by statistical agencies, respond to changes in trade costs. In a range of models, changes in measured productivity are equal to the inverse of an export-share weighted average of changes in variable trade costs incurred domestically. Under certain conditions, despite the multiple biases in the CPI, measured real consumption captures the first-order effects of changes in variable trade costs on welfare. Through the lens of these results, we interpret some of the empirical work on measured gains from trade. (JEL E21, E23, F11, F43)

Suggested Citation

  • Ariel Burstein & Javier Cravino, 2015. "Measured Aggregate Gains from International Trade," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(2), pages 181-218, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:7:y:2015:i:2:p:181-218
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.20120008
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E21 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Consumption; Saving; Wealth
    • E23 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Production
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies

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