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The Missing Globalization Puzzle: Evidence of the Declining Importance of Distance

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  • David T Coe
  • Arvind Subramanian
  • Natalia T Tamirisa

Abstract

Globalization can be characterized as the rapid increase in international trade spurred by advances in technology that have decreased the cost of trade. As costs have declined, so too, it would seem, should the estimated distance coefficient in the gravity model of bilateral trade. But a standard empirical result is that these estimated coefficients have been broadly stable, a result that might be called the “missing globalization puzzle.” In contrast to results from the literature, we find evidence of globalization reflected in the estimated coefficients on distance in both cross-section and panel data. Our estimation procedures fully incorporate the information contained in observations where bilateral trade is zero and hence do not suffer from the potential estimation bias when observations where bilateral trade is zero are arbitrarily excluded from the sample. IMF Staff Papers (2007) 54, 34–58. doi:10.1057/palgrave.imfsp.9450003

Suggested Citation

  • David T Coe & Arvind Subramanian & Natalia T Tamirisa, 2007. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle: Evidence of the Declining Importance of Distance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 34-58, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:imfstp:v:54:y:2007:i:1:p:34-58
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