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A test of trade theories when expenditure is home biased

  • Brülhart, Marius
  • Trionfetti, Federico

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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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 53 (2009)
Issue (Month): 7 (October)
Pages: 830-845

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:53:y:2009:i:7:p:830-845
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