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Explaining Armington: What Determines Substitutability Between Home and Foreign Goods?

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  • Bruce A. Blonigen
  • Wesley W. Wilson

Abstract

For decades trade economists have modeled imperfect substitution between home and foreign goods in consumption (often called the Armington assumption) with little analysis of what explains the wide variation in these substitution elasticities across sectors. Using a varying coefficients model, the authors estimate Armington elasticities between U.S. domestic and foreign goods across over one hundred industrial sectors from 1980 to 1988 and examine the role of product, industry, political, and 'home bias' factors as determinants. They find strong support that the presence of foreign-owned affiliates affects Armington elasticities in important ways, and some support that entry barriers and union presence have an effect.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson, 1999. "Explaining Armington: What Determines Substitutability Between Home and Foreign Goods?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(1), pages 1-21, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:32:y:1999:i:1:p:1-21
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business
    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis

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