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Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade

  • Gabriel J. Felbermayr
  • Wilhelm Kohler

World trade evolves at two margins. Where a bilateral trading relationship already exists it may increase through time (intensive margin). But trade may also increase if a trading bilateral relationship is newly established between countries that have not traded with each other in the past (extensive margin). We provide an empirical dissection of post-World-War-II growth in manufacturing world trade along these two margins. We propose a “corner-solutions-version” of the gravity model to explain movements on both margins. A Tobit estimation of this model resolves the so-called “distance-puzzle”. It also finds more convincing evidence than recent literature that WTO-membership enhances trade.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1276.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1276
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  1. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 2002. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(2), pages 281-316, April.
  2. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Working Papers 5565, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Rozanski, Jerzy & Yeats, Alexander, 1994. "On the (in)accuracy of economic observations: An assessment of trends in the reliability of international trade statistics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 103-130, June.
  4. Brun, Jean-François & Carrère, Céline & de Melo, Jaime & Guillaumont, Patrick, 2002. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3500, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  6. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  7. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm357, Yale School of Management.
  8. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do We Really KNow that the WTO Increases Trade?," Working Papers 182002, Hong Kong Institute for Monetary Research.
  9. Arvind Subramanian & Shang-Jin Wei, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," NBER Working Papers 10024, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Alan V Deardorff, 2004. "Local Comparative Advantage: Trade Costs and the Pattern of Trade," Working Papers 500, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  11. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  12. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  13. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2008. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(2), pages 187-231, June.
  14. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  16. Douglas A. Irwin & Marko Tervio, 2000. "Does Trade Raise Income? Evidence from the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 7745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Claudia Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2004. "The Distance Puzzle: On the Interpretation of the Distance Coefficient in Gravity Equations," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00311582, HAL.
  18. Leamer, Edward E. & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "International trade theory: The evidence," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 26, pages 1339-1394 Elsevier.
  19. Rikhil Bhavnani & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Arvind Subramanian & David T. Coe, 2002. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle," IMF Working Papers 02/171, International Monetary Fund.
  20. 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.
  21. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Gravity-defying trade," Working Papers 03-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  22. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  23. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  24. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
  25. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2004. "Distance, trade and FDI: a Hausman-Taylor SUR approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(2), pages 227-246.
  26. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72.
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