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A test of trade theories when expenditure is home biased

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  • Brülhart, Marius
  • Trionfetti, Federico

Abstract

We develop a criterion to distinguish two dominant paradigms of international trade theory: homogeneous-goods perfectly competitive models, and differentiated-goods monopolistically competitive models. Our analysis makes use of the pervasive presence of home-biased expenditure. It predicts that countries' relative output and their relative home biases are positively correlated in differentiated-goods sectors (the "home-bias effect"), while no such relationship exists in homogeneous-goods sectors. This discriminating criterion turns out to be robust to a number of generalisations of the baseline model. Our empirical results, based on a world-wide cross-country data set, suggest that the differentiated-goods model fits particularly well for the machinery, precision engineering and transport equipment industries, which account for some 40% of sample manufacturing output.

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  • Brülhart, Marius & Trionfetti, Federico, 2009. "A test of trade theories when expenditure is home biased," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(7), pages 830-845, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:7:p:830-845
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    Keywords

    International specialisation New trade theory Home-market effects Border effects;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • R3 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Real Estate Markets, Spatial Production Analysis, and Firm Location

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