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The sensitivity of trade flows to trade barriers

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  • Raimondi, Valentina
  • Olper, Alessandro

Abstract

This study analyzes the sensitivity of trade flows to trade barriers from gravity equations, using different econometric techniques recently highlighted in the literature. Specifically, we compare a benchmark OLS fixed effects specification a la Feenstra (2002) with three emerging estimation methods: the standard Heckman correction for selection bias, to account for zero trade flows; the Eaton and Tamura (1994) Tobit estimator, to solve limited-dependent variable issues; and, finally, the Poisson pseudo-maximum-likelihood (PPML) technique, to correct for the presence of heteroskedasticity. Our gravity model includes trade among 193 exporter and 99 importer countries, in 18 food industry sectors. The paper achieves two goals: First it provides estimates of the elasticity of substitution obtained using the four estimation techniques; Second, it gives a dimension to the trade reduction effect induced by existing border protection, by simulating the effect of a full trade liberalization scenario on 18 food sectors. The estimates reveal interesting variations in the elasticity of substitution across products and procedures. The simulation indicates that trade liberalization will strongly increase food exports, especially from emerging and developing countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Raimondi, Valentina & Olper, Alessandro, 2009. "The sensitivity of trade flows to trade barriers," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 50658, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:50658
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/50658/files/612931_Paper.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    5. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
    6. Ghazalian, Pascal & Tamini, Lota & Larue, Bruno & Gervais, Jean-Philippe, 2007. "A Gravity approach to evaluate the significance of trade liberalization in vertically-related goods in the presence of non-tariff barriers," MPRA Paper 2744, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. Martin, Will & Pham, Cong S., 2008. "Estimating the gravity model when zero trade flows are frequent," Working Papers eco_2008_03, Deakin University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Vigani & Valentina Raimondi & Alessandro Olper, 2010. "GMO Regulations, International Trade and the Imperialism of Standards," LICOS Discussion Papers 25510, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.

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    Keywords

    International Relations/Trade;

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