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Monte Carlo Appraisals of Gravity Model Specifications

  • Schaefer Kurt C

    ()

    (Calvin College)

  • Anderson Michael A

    ()

    (Washington and Lee University)

  • Ferrantino Michael J

    ()

    (US International Trade Commission)

Many improvements have been proposed for the basic gravity model specification, most of which are confirmed by standard statistical tests due to the large number of observations often used to estimate such models. We use Monte Carlo experiments to examine situations in which features of models may be found statistically significant (or insignificant) when it is known ex ante that they are absent (or present) in the underlying data process. Erroneous assumptions about the presence or absence of lagged dependent variables, fixed effects, free-trade associations and custom unions are shown to introduce an economically important bias in estimates of the coefficients of interest, and in some cases to be confirmed spuriously. Policy effects for such initiatives as free trade associations and currency unions can also be confirmed spuriously when they do not exist in the data-generating process.

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Article provided by De Gruyter in its journal Global Economy Journal.

Volume (Year): 8 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-26

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Handle: RePEc:bpj:glecon:v:8:y:2008:i:1:n:2
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  1. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  2. Alan Deardorff, 1998. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 7-32 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Leamer, Edward E. & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "International trade theory: The evidence," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1339-1394 Elsevier.
  4. I-Hui Cheng & Howard J. Wall, 2004. "Controlling for heterogeneity in gravity models of trade and integration," Working Papers 1999-010, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  5. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
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