Economic and Geographical Distance: Explaining Mercosur Sectoral Exports to the EU
The objective of this paper is to apply a modified gravity model to annual exports disaggregated by sector, from MERCOSUR + Chile to the 15 current members of the EU. In doing so, we aimed to classify sectors according to their sensitivity to geographical and economic distance and to identify which commodities enjoy export strength even without further progress in trade liberalisation with the EU. In the estimation we made use of two additional explanatory variables which are found to be relevant when explaining trade, namely, infrastructure and exchange rates. An exchange rate index is built that takes into account protection. Our results support the view that different sectors have a different sensitivity to distance and highlight the importance of using disaggregated data when analysing international trade flows.
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