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Estimating Gravity Equation Models in the Presence of Sample Selection and Heteroskedasticity

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  • Xiong, Bo
  • Chen, Sixia

Abstract

Gravity equation models are widely used in international trade to assess the impact of various policies on the patterns of trade. Although recent literature provides solid micro-foundations for the gravity equation model, there is no consensus on how to estimate a gravity equation model in the presence of the two stylized features of trade data: frequent zeros and heteroskedasticity. We propose a Two-Step Nonlinear Least Square estimator that satisfactorily deals with both problems. Monte-Carlo experiments show that the proposed estimator strictly outperforms the Poisson Pseudo Maximum Likelihood (PPML), the Heckman sample selection model, and the E.T.-Tobit estimators, and that it weakly dominates the Truncated PPML model in the estimation of the intensive margin of trade. An empirical study of world trade in 1986 suggests that currency union and regional trade agreements facilitate trade primarily through improving market access, as opposed to intensifying pre-existing trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Xiong, Bo & Chen, Sixia, 2012. "Estimating Gravity Equation Models in the Presence of Sample Selection and Heteroskedasticity," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124530, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea12:124530
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    1. Gabriel J Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2014. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: European Economic Integration, WTO Membership, Immigration and Offshoring, chapter 4, pages 115-148 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
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    Cited by:

    1. Maria Cipollina & Luca Salvatici & Luca De Benedictis & Claudio Vicarelli, 2013. "A note on dummies for policies in gravity models: a Montecarlo experiment," Departmental Working Papers of Economics - University 'Roma Tre' 0180, Department of Economics - University Roma Tre.
    2. Martin,William J. & Pham,Cong S., 2015. "Estimating the gravity model when zero trade flows are frequent and economically determined," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7308, The World Bank.
    3. Anirudh Shingal, 2016. "Colonial legacy, services trade and LDCs," RSCAS Working Papers 2016/70, European University Institute.
    4. Xiong, Bo & Beghin, John C. & Marette, Stephan, 2013. "Gains to French champagne makers from tariff liberalization," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150003, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    gravity equation; heteroskedasticity; zeros; nonlinear least square; intensive margin; extensive margin; market access; Two-Step Nonlinear Least Square; International Relations/Trade; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods; F1; Q1; C5;

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • Q1 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture
    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling

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