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The World Trade Network

  • Luca De Benedictis
  • Lucia Tajoli

      This paper uses the tools of network analysis and graph theory to graphically and analytically represent the characteristics of world trade. The structure of the World Trade Network is compared over time, detecting and interpreting patterns of trade ties among countries. In particular, we assess whether the entrance of a number of new important players into the world trading system in recent years has changed the main characteristics of the existing structure of world trade, or whether the existing network was simply extended to a new group of countries. We also analyze whether the observed changes in international trade flow patterns are related to the multilateral or the regional liberalization policies. The results show that trade integration at the world level has been increasing but it is still far from being complete, with the exception of some areas, that there is a strong heterogeneity in the countries’ choice of partners, and that the WTO plays an important role in trade integration. The role of the extensive and the intensive margin of trade is also highlighted.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2011)
Issue (Month): 8 (08)
Pages: 1417-1454

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Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:34:y:2011:i:8:p:1417-1454
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  1. Egger, Peter & Larch, Mario, 2008. "Interdependent preferential trade agreement memberships: An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 384-399, December.
  2. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "International Trade and Financial Integration: a Weighted Network Analysis," Documents de Travail de l'OFCE 2007-11, Observatoire Francais des Conjonctures Economiques (OFCE).
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  8. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "The Evolution of the World Trade Web," LEM Papers Series 2007/17, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
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  10. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  11. Garlaschelli, Diego & Loffredo, Maria I., 2005. "Structure and evolution of the world trade network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(1), pages 138-144.
  12. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
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