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Market Entry and Trade Weighted Import Costs

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  • Benjamin Bridgman

    (Bureau of Economic Analysis)

Abstract

Trade costs have fallen surprisingly little given the large increase in international trade in the last 50 years. This paper examines whether trade costs are properly measured. I show theoretically that trade weighted measures will underestimate the changes in trade costs when there are fixed market entry costs and quality differences. Newly traded goods enter at higher trade costs than previously traded ones. Lower import costs shift trade to low quality goods with higher measured trade costs. U.S. import costs fall twice as fast as trade weighted measures from 1974 to 2004 when the impacts of shifting and new goods are removed. Once the biases are removed, typical estimates of trade elasticities can explain increasing trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Benjamin Bridgman, 2010. "Market Entry and Trade Weighted Import Costs," BEA Working Papers 0067, Bureau of Economic Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:bea:wpaper:0067
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Lin, Chin-Ho, 2015. "The impact of tariff rates on the probability of trade relationships survival: evidence from ASEAN+6 manufactured goods," MPRA Paper 71260, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. Bridgman, Benjamin, 2012. "The rise of vertical specialization trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(1), pages 133-140.

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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