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Port Efficiency and Trade Flows

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  • Bruce A. Blonigen
  • Wesley W. Wilson

Abstract

Growing international trade and increasing congestion focus attention on trade facilitation. Ocean ports are a central and necessary component in facilitating trade. Yet, there is only limited comprehensive information available on the efficiency of ports or evidence of the effect of port efficiency on trade. We develop and apply a straightforward approach to estimate port efficiency. The approach uses detailed data on US imports and associated import costs, yielding estimates across ports, products, and time. These measures are incorporated into a gravity trade model where we estimate that improved port efficiency significantly increases trade volumes. Copyright © 2008 The Authors; Journal compilation © 2008 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson, 2008. "Port Efficiency and Trade Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:16:y:2008:i:1:p:21-36
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Khalid Bichou & Richard Gray, 2004. "A logistics and supply chain management approach to port performance measurement," Maritime Policy & Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(1), pages 47-67, January.
    2. Estache, Antonio & Gonzalez, Marianela & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2002. "Efficiency Gains from Port Reform and the Potential for Yardstick Competition: Lessons from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 545-560, April.
    3. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    4. Estache, Antonio & de la Fe, Beatriz Tovar & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2004. "Sources of efficiency gains in port reform: a DEA decomposition of a Malmquist TFP index for Mexico," Utilities Policy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 221-230, December.
    5. Estache, Antonio & Gonzalez, Marianela & Trujillo, Lourdes, 2002. "Efficiency Gains from Port Reform and the Potential for Yardstick Competition: Lessons from Mexico," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(4), pages 545-560, April.
    6. Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley Wilson, 2006. "New Measures of Port Efficiency Using International Trade Data," NBER Working Papers 12052, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2003. "Trade Facilitation and Economic Development: A New Approach to Quantifying the Impact," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 17(3), pages 367-389, December.
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