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Estimating the gravity model without gravity using panel data

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  • Joakim Westerlund
  • Fredrik Wilhelmsson

Abstract

This article examines the effects of zero trade on the estimation of the gravity model using both simulated and real data with a panel structure, which is different from the more conventional cross-sectional structure. We begin by showing that the usual log-linear estimation method can result in highly deceptive inference when some observations are zero. As an alternative approach, we suggest using the poisson fixed effects estimator. This approach eliminates the problems of zero trade, controls for heterogeneity across countries, and is shown to perform well in small samples.

Suggested Citation

  • Joakim Westerlund & Fredrik Wilhelmsson, 2009. "Estimating the gravity model without gravity using panel data," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 43(6), pages 641-649.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:applec:v:43:y:2009:i:6:p:641-649
    DOI: 10.1080/00036840802599784
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