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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
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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. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1994. "How Wide is the Border?," NBER Working Papers 4829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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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  4. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Ernesto Stein & Shang-Jin Wei, 1998. "Continental Trading Blocs: Are They Natural or Supernatural?," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 91-120 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Skaperdas, S. & Syropoulos, C., 1996. "Insecure Properties and the Stability of Exchange," Papers 95-96-8, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  6. Casella, Alessandra & Rauch, James E, 1997. "Anonymous Market and Group Ties in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1748, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. W. Bentley MacLeod, 1996. "Decision, Contract and Emotion: Some Economics for a Complex and Confusing World," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 336., Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. McLaren, J, 1996. "Supplier Relations and the Market Context : A Theory of Handshakes," Papers 766, Yale - Economic Growth Center.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Dixit, A., 1988. "Entry And Exit Decisions Under Uncertainty," Papers 91, Princeton, Department of Economics - Financial Research Center.
  18. Jean Tirole, 1999. "Incomplete Contracts: Where Do We Stand?," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 741-782, July.
  19. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "International Rules and Institutions for Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 4962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. 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.
  21. John F. Helliwell, 1995. "Do National Borders Matter for Quebec's Trade?," NBER Working Papers 5215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 1999. "Trade, Insecurity, and Home Bias: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 7000, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. 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.
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