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Why Do Nations Trade (So Little)?

  • James E. Anderson

    ()

    (Boston College)

There isn't nearly as much trade as standard models suggest there should be. Formal trade barriers and transport costs are too low to account for the difference. The pattern of missing trade has interesting variation across country pairs. These clues suggest the need for theoretical and eventually structural empirical work on the missing transactions costs. This paper reviews recent empirical findings and some promising research directions in search, predation and contract theory.

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File URL: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC-P/wp428.pdf
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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 428.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 15 Aug 1999
Date of revision:
Publication status: published, Pacific Economic Review 5 (2000), 115-134.
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:428
Contact details of provider: Postal: Boston College, 140 Commonwealth Avenue, Chestnut Hill MA 02467 USA
Phone: 617-552-3670
Fax: +1-617-552-2308
Web page: http://fmwww.bc.edu/EC/
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  1. Engel, Charles & Rogers, John H, 1996. "How Wide Is the Border?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(5), pages 1112-25, December.
  2. Shang-Jin Wei, 1997. "Why is Corruption So Much More Taxing Than Tax? Arbitrariness Kills," NBER Working Papers 6255, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  5. Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 1996. "Insecure Properties and the Stability of Exchange," Papers 95-96-8, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  6. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Ernesto Stein & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Continental Trading Blocs: Are They Natural, or Super-Natural?," NBER Working Papers 4588, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1996. "Exploring New Markets: Direct Investment, Contractual Relations and the Multinational Enterprise," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 37(1), pages 1-19, February.
  8. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  9. Anderson James E & Young Leslie, 2006. "Trade and Contract Enforcement," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-36, November.
  10. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  11. Greif, Avner & Milgrom, Paul & Weingast, Barry R, 1994. "Coordination, Commitment, and Enforcement: The Case of the Merchant Guild," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(4), pages 745-76, August.
  12. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  13. W. Bentley MacLeod, 1996. "Decision, Contract, and Emotion: Some Economics for a Complex and Confusing World," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 29(4), pages 788-810, November.
  14. McLaren, John, 1999. "Supplier relations and the market context: A theory of handshakes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 121-138, June.
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  16. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-64, September.
  17. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 1997. "Trade and Security,I: Anarchy," NBER Working Papers 6223, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Keith Head & John Ries, 1998. "Immigration and Trade Creation: Econometric Evidence from Canada," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(1), pages 47-62, February.
  19. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  20. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  21. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 1999. "Trade, Insecurity, and Home Bias: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  23. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  24. James E. Rauch & Alessandra Casella, 2003. "Overcoming Informational Barriers to International Resource Allocation: Prices and Ties," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 113(484), pages 21-42, January.
  25. James R. Markusen, 1995. "The Boundaries of Multinational Enterprises and the Theory of International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 169-189, Spring.
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