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Choosing the best model in the presence of zero trade: a fish product analysis

  • Tran, Nhuong
  • Wilson, Norbert L.W.
  • Hite, Diane

The purpose of the paper is to test the hypothesis that food safety (chemical) standards act as barriers to international seafood imports. We use zero-accounting gravity models to test the hypothesis that food safety (chemical) standards act as barriers to international seafood imports. The chemical standards on which we focus include chloramphenicol required performance limit, oxytetracycline maximum residue limit, fluoro-quinolones maximum residue limit, and dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) pesticide residue limit. The study focuses on the three most important seafood markets: the European Union’s 15 members, Japan, and North America. Our empirical results confirm the hypothesis and are robust to the OLS as well as alternative zero-accounting gravity models such as the Heckman estimation and the Poisson family regressions. For the choice of the best model specification to account for zero trade and heteroskedastic issues, it is inconclusive to base on formal statistical tests; however the Heckman sample selection and zero-inflated negative binomial (ZINB) models provide the most reliable parameter estimates based on the statistical tests, magnitude of coefficients, economic implications, and the literature findings. Our findings suggest that continually tightening of seafood safety standards has had a negative impact on exporting countries. Increasing the stringency of regulations by reducing analytical limits or maximum residue limits in seafood in developed countries has negative impacts on their bilateral seafood imports. The paper furthers the literature on food safety standards on international trade. We show competing gravity model specifications and provide additional evidence that no one gravity model is superior.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/142790
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Paper provided by International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium in its series 2012: New Rules of Trade?, December 2012, San Diego, California with number 142790.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iat12m:142790
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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Disdier, Anne-Célia & Marette, Stéphan, 2010. "The Combination of Gravity and Welfare Approaches for Evaluating Non-Tariff Measures," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Docweb) 1004, CEPREMAP.
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  5. Jayasinghe, Sampath & Beghin, John C. & Moschini, GianCarlo, 2008. "Determinants of World Demand for U.S. Corn Seeds: The Role of Trade Costs," 2008 Annual Meeting, July 27-29, 2008, Orlando, Florida 6402, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  6. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Vuong, Quang H, 1989. "Likelihood Ratio Tests for Model Selection and Non-nested Hypotheses," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 57(2), pages 307-33, March.
  8. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  9. Puhani, Patrick A, 2000. " The Heckman Correction for Sample Selection and Its Critique," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 53-68, February.
  10. Bo Xiong & John Beghin, 2012. "Does European aflatoxin regulation hurt groundnut exporters from Africa?," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 39(4), pages 589-609, September.
  11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Chunlai Chen & Jun Yang & Christopher Findlay, 2008. "Measuring the Effect of Food Safety Standards on China’s Agricultural Exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(1), pages 83-106, April.
  14. Xuepeng Liu, 2009. "GATT/WTO Promotes Trade Strongly: Sample Selection and Model Specification," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 428-446, 08.
  15. Martijn Burger & Frank van Oort & Gert-Jan Linders, 2009. "On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-inflated Estimation," Spatial Economic Analysis, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 4(2), pages 167-190.
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