Transport costs and trade: Empirical evidence for Latin American imports from the European union
This paper aims to investigate the relationship between trade flows and transport costs. In previous studies the cost of transport was considered as an exogenous variable. However, an expanding volume of trade also reduces the unit cost of transport and, therefore, the causal relationship between trade and transport costs may be operating in both directions. A transport-costs equation is estimated using data on transportation costs from the International Transport Data Base (BTI). The relationship between transport costs and trade is then analysed by applying a gravity model for sectoral imports for five Latin American Countries from the European Union. We investigate the endogeneity of the transport cost and trade variables by estimating simultaneously both equations. Our results show that, while higher distance and poor importer's infrastructure notably increase transport costs, a higher volume of trade has the opposite effect. Moreover, trade is significantly deterred by higher transport costs and fostered by cultural similarities.
Volume (Year): 14 (2005)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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