IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Trade Costs, Trade Balances and Current Accounts: An Application of Gravity to Multilateral Trade

  • Giorgio Fazio
  • Ronald MacDonald
  • Jacques Melitz

In this paper we test the well-known hypothesis of Obstfeld and Rogoff (2000) that trade costs are the key to explaining the so-called Feldstein-Horioka puzzle. Using a gravity framework in an intertemporal context, we provide strong support for the hypothesis and we reconcile our results with the so-called home bias puzzle. Interestingly, this requires a fundamental revision of Obstfeld and Rogoff’s argument. A further novelty of our work is in tying bilateral trade behavior to desired aggregate trade balances and desired intertemporal trade.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1529.

in new window

Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1529
Contact details of provider: Postal: Poschingerstrasse 5, 81679 Munich
Phone: +49 (89) 9224-0
Fax: +49 (89) 985369
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Kraay, Aart & Loayza, Norman & Serven, Luis & Ventura, Jaume, 2004. "Country Portfolios," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3320, The World Bank.
  3. Philip R. Lane & Gian-Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "External Wealth, the Trade Balance, and the Real Exchange Rate," IMF Working Papers 02/51, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Jacques Melitz, 2003. "Language and Foreign Trade," Working Papers 2003-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  7. Obstfeld, Maurice, 1986. "Capital mobility in the world economy: Theory and measurement," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 55-103, January.
  8. Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Taylor, Alan M., 2002. "A century of current account dynamics," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 725-748, November.
  10. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2002. "Current Accounts in the Long and Short Run," NBER Working Papers 9030, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Reuven Glick & Paul Bergin, 2003. "Endogenous Nontradability and Macroeconomic Implications," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 106, Society for Computational Economics.
  12. Gordon, R.H. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1994. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? : Possible explanations and implications for capital income taxation," Discussion Paper 1994-63, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  13. Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2007. "A Model of Endogenous Nontradability and its Implications for the Current Account," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 916-931, November.
  14. 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.
  15. Rose, Andrew K, 1999. "One Money, One Market: Estimating the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 2329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Philip R. Lane & Gian Milesi-Ferretti, 2001. "Long-Term Capital Movements," NBER Working Papers 8366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2002. "Long-Term Capital Movements," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2001, Volume 16, pages 73-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Tamim Bayoumi, 1999. "Estimating Trade Equations from Aggregate Bilateral Data," IMF Working Papers 99/74, International Monetary Fund.
  18. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  20. J Bradford Jensen & Andrew B Bernard, 2001. "Why Some Firms Export," Working Papers 01-05, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  21. repec:oup:qjecon:v:115:y:2000:i:4:p:1137-1166 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
  23. Michael Dooley & Jeffrey Frankel & Donald J. Mathieson, 1987. "International Capital Mobility: What Do Saving-Investment Correlations Tell Us?," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 34(3), pages 503-530, September.
  24. Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2005. "Endogenous Tradability andMacroeconomic Implications," Working Papers 513, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  25. 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.
  26. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Other publications TiSEM 6a131c21-fd9a-4d83-8d9a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  27. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  28. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  29. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  30. 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.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1529. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.