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The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence

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  • Simonovska, Ina
  • Waugh, Michael E.

Abstract

Quantitative results from a large class of structural gravity models of international trade depend critically on the elasticity of trade with respect to trade frictions. We develop a new simulated method of moments estimator to estimate this elasticity from disaggregate price and trade-flow data and we use it within Eaton and Kortum's (2002) Ricardian model. We apply our estimator to disaggregate price and trade-flow data for 123 countries in the year 2004. Our method yields a trade elasticity of roughly four, nearly fifty percent lower than Eaton and Kortum's (2002) approach. This difference doubles the welfare gains from international trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Simonovska, Ina & Waugh, Michael E., 2014. "The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 34-50.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:92:y:2014:i:1:p:34-50
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2013.10.001
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    Keywords

    Elasticity of trade; Bilateral; Gravity; Price dispersion; Indirect inference;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation

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