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The sensitivity of trade flows to trade barriers

  • Raimondi, Valentina
  • Olper, Alessandro

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.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50658
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin with number 50658.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea09:50658
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  1. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  4. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  9. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Akiko Tamura, 1995. "Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns," NBER Working Papers 4758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Joseph Francois & Hans Van Meijl & Frank Van Tongeren, 2005. "Trade liberalization in the Doha Development Round," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 20(42), pages 349-391, 04.
  12. Huiwen Lai & Susan Chun Zhu, 2004. "The determinants of bilateral trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(2), pages 459-483, May.
  13. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  14. Will Martin & Cong S. Pham, 2008. "Estimating the Gravity Model When Zero Trade Flows are Frequent," Economics Series 2008_03, Deakin University, Faculty of Business and Law, School of Accounting, Economics and Finance.
  15. 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.
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