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Roadways, Input Sourcing, and Patterns of Specialization

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  • Esteban Jaimovich

Abstract

We propose a model where the internal transport network facilitates the sourcing of intermediate goods from geographically diffuse locations. A denser internal transport network promotes thus the growth of industries that rely on a large variety of inputs. The model shows that heterogeneities in internal transport infrastructures can become a key factor in shaping comparative advantage and specialization. Evidence based on industry-level trade data grants support to the main prediction of the model: countries with denser road networks export relatively more in industries that exhibit broader input bases. We show that this correlation is robust to several possible confounding effects proposed by the literature, such as the impact of institutions on specialization in complex goods. Furthermore, we show that a similar correlation arises as well when the density of the local transport network is measured by the density of their internal waterways, and also when road density is instrumented with measures of terrain roughness.

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  • Esteban Jaimovich, 2019. "Roadways, Input Sourcing, and Patterns of Specialization," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 586, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  • Handle: RePEc:cca:wpaper:586
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    International Trade; Comparative Advantage; Internal Transportation Costs.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • O18 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Urban, Rural, Regional, and Transportation Analysis; Housing; Infrastructure
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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