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Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation

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  • Baier, Scott L.
  • Bergstrand, Jeffrey H.

Abstract

Using a Taylor-series expansion, we solve for a simple reduced-form gravity equation revealing a transparent theoretical relationship among bilateral trade flows, incomes, and trade costs, based upon the model in Anderson and van Wincoop [Anderson, James E., and van Wincoop, Eric. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle." American Economic Review 93, no. 1 (March 2003): 170-192.]. Monte Carlo results support that virtually identical coefficient estimates are obtained easily by estimating the reduced-form gravity equation including theoretically-motivated exogenous multilateral resistance terms. We show our methodology generalizes to many settings and delineate the economic conditions under which our approach works well for computing comparative statics and under which it does not.

Suggested Citation

  • Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:77:y:2009:i:1:p:77-85
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
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