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Bilateral Trade and Similarity of Income Distributions: The Role of Second Moments

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  • Peter S. Eppinger
  • Gabriel Felbermayr

    ()

Abstract

We use an augmented gravity model to revisit the effect of similarity in income distributions on bilateral trade flows. Disentangling supply-side and demand-side mechanisms, we document a robust new regularity: while differences in average incomes between two countries increase trade, differences in income dispersion reduce it. Our result sheds new light on the Linder hypothesis and strengthens the role of non-homothetic preferences in trade theory.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter S. Eppinger & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2014. "Bilateral Trade and Similarity of Income Distributions: The Role of Second Moments," ifo Working Paper Series 184, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ifowps:_184
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2005. "Inequality and trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1253-1271, November.
    2. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    3. Muhammed Dalgin & Vitor Trindade & Devashish Mitra, 2008. "Inequality, Nonhomothetic Preferences, and Trade: A Gravity Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 747-774, January.
    4. Markusen, James R., 2013. "Putting per-capita income back into trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 90(2), pages 255-265.
    5. Gaulier, Guillaume & Zignago, Soledad, 2004. "Notes on BACI (analytical database of international trade). 1989-2002 version," MPRA Paper 32401, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    6. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    7. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 453-466, August.
    8. Choi, Yo Chul & Hummels, David & Xiang, Chong, 2009. "Explaining import quality: The role of the income distribution," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(2), pages 265-275, April.
    9. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Sebastian Vollmer, 2010. "Bilateral trade flows and income-distribution similarity," Working Papers 10-06, Asociación Española de Economía y Finanzas Internacionales.
    10. 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.
    11. Francois, Joseph F & Kaplan, Seth, 1996. "Aggregate Demand Shifts, Income Distribution, and the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 244-250, May.
    12. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality and International Trade," 2011 Meeting Papers 415, Society for Economic Dynamics.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dan Liu & Christopher M. Meissner, 2017. "Geography, Income, and Trade in the 21st Century," NBER Working Papers 24121, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Hendrik W. Kruse, 2016. "Revisiting the Sectoral Linder Hypothesis: Aggregation Bias or Fixed Costs?," LIS Working papers 658, LIS Cross-National Data Center in Luxembourg.
    3. Abdessalem Abassi & Lota Dabio Tamini, 2016. "Trade performance and potential of North African countries: An application of a stochastic frontier gravity model," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2016-4, CREATE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade; income distribution; gravity model; Linder hypothesis; nonhomothetic preferences;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution

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