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Does WTO Membership Make a Difference at the Extensive Margin of World Trade?

  • Gabriel J. Felbermayr
  • Wilhelm Kohler

In his seminal paper, Rose (2004) concluded from a gravity-type study of bilateral trade that the GATT/WTO does not play a strong role in encouraging trade. Rose looks at countries where the amount of trade was positive to start with (intensive margin). In this paper, we present a corner-solutions version of the gravity model of bilateral trade which explains zero trade and leaves room for WTO membership to promote trade at the extensive margin of trade. Relying on a Tobit estimation approach, we find that WTO membership has promoted world trade to a larger extent than Rose’s results seem to indicate.

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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1898.

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Date of creation: 2007
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_1898
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  1. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
  2. Andrew Rose, 2005. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 682-698, 09.
  3. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  4. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, June.
  6. Paul Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-58.
  7. 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.
  8. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do WTO Members have More Liberal Trade Policy?," NBER Working Papers 9347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Shang-Jin Wei & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," IMF Working Papers 03/185, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  12. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
  13. Xuepeng Liu, 2009. "GATT/WTO Promotes Trade Strongly: Sample Selection and Model Specification," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 428-446, 08.
  14. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  15. Baldwin, Richard, 1988. "Hyteresis in Import Prices: The Beachhead Effect," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(4), pages 773-85, September.
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