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The Gravity Model: An Illustration Of Structural Estimation As Calibration




"Dawkins, Srinivasan, and Whalley ("Calibration,""Handbook of Econometrics, "2001) propose that estimation is calibration. We illustrate their point by examining a leading econometric application in the study of international and interregional trade by Anderson and van Wincoop ("Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle,""American Economic Review, "2003). We replicate the econometric process and show it to be a calibration of a general equilibrium model. Our approach offers unique insights into structural estimation, and we highlight the importance of traditional calibration considerations when one uses econometric techniques to calibrate a model for comparative policy analysis. "("JEL "F10, C13, C60) Copyright (c) 2007 Western Economic Association International.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry, 2008. "The Gravity Model: An Illustration Of Structural Estimation As Calibration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 511-527, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ecinqu:v:46:y:2008:i:4:p:511-527

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. de Melo, Jaime, 1988. "Computable general equilibrium models for trade policy analysis in developing countries: A survey," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 469-503.
    2. 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.
    3. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
    4. Liu, Jing & Arndt, Channing, 2004. "Parameter Estimation and Measures of Fit in A Global, General Equilibrium Model," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 626-649.
    5. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-160, February.
    6. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2005. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Jan, pages 49-63.
    7. Perroni, Carlo & Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Regular flexibility of nested CES functions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 335-343, February.
    8. Edward Balistreri & Russell Hillberry, 2006. "Trade frictions and welfare in the gravity model: how much of the iceberg melts?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 247-265, February.
    9. Harrison, Glenn W & Vinod, H D, 1992. "The Sensitivity Analysis of Applied General Equilibrium Models: Completely Randomized Factorial Sampling Designs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 357-362, May.
    10. Hoover, Kevin D, 1995. "Facts and Artifacts: Calibration and the Empirical Assessment of Real-Business-Cycle Models," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(1), pages 24-44, January.
    11. Rutherford, Thomas F., 1995. "Extension of GAMS for complementarity problems arising in applied economic analysis," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 19(8), pages 1299-1324, November.
    12. Andrew K. Rose & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "National Money as a Barrier to International Trade: The Real Case for Currency Union," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(2), pages 386-390, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    2. Mario Larch & Yoto V. Yotov, 2016. "General Equilibrium Trade Policy Analysis with Structural Gravity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6020, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Arman Mazhikeyev & T.Huw Edwards & Marian Rizov, 2014. "Openness and Isolation: the comparative trade performance of the Former Soviet Central Asian countries," Discussion Paper Series 2014_02, Department of Economics, Loughborough University, revised Feb 2014.
    4. Hirokazu Ishise & Miwa Matsuo, 2015. "US–Canada border effect between 1993 and 2007: smaller, less asymmetrical, and declining," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 151(2), pages 291-308, May.
    5. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2013. "Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    6. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2013. "Trade Elasticity Parameters for a Computable General Equilibrium Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C60 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - General


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