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Commodity Trade Matters

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  • Fally, Thibault
  • Sayre, James E.

Abstract

Primary commodities are used as inputs into all production processes, yet they account for approximately 16 percent of world trade. Despite their share in trade, we show that the aggregate gains from trade are largely understated if we ignore key features of commodities: low price elasticities of demand (difficulty in finding substitutes), low price elasticities of supply, and high dispersion of natural resources across countries. We develop a general-equilibrium model of consumption, production, and input-output linkages that explicitly accounts for these features. Our simulations confirm that the gains from trade are significantly larger, especially when considering large trade cost changes.
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  • Fally, Thibault & Sayre, James E., 2018. "Commodity Trade Matters," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt9121v3rt, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
  • Handle: RePEc:cdl:agrebk:qt9121v3rt
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    Cited by:

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    8. Lionel Gérard Fontagné & Houssein Guimbard & Gianluca Orefice, 2020. "Product-Level Trade Elasticities: Worth Weighting For," CESifo Working Paper Series 8491, CESifo.
    9. Gouel, Christophe & LaBorde, David, 2017. "The Crucial Role of International Trade in Adaptation to Climate Change," 2017: Globalization Adrift, December 3-5, 2017, Washington, D.C. 266841, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    10. David Baqaee & Emmanuel Farhi, 2019. "Networks, Barriers, and Trade," NBER Working Papers 26108, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Keywords

    Social and Behavioral Sciences;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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