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Gravity with gravitas: comment

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  • Bas Straathof

    (CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis)

Abstract

In GRAVITY WITH GRAVITAS: A SOLUTION TO THE BORDER PUZZLE, Anderson and Van Wincoop (2003) estimate what trade between US states and Canadian provinces would have been if the border between Canada and the United States had not existed. They showed that computing the border effect requires solving a non-linear system of multilateral price indexes. This note shows that the non-linear system can be solved analytically, such that a numerical approximation is no longer needed. The exact solution yields a reduced-form log-linear gravity equation that can be estimated using standard econometric techniques. After estimation, the calculation of treatment effects like the border effect is straightforward. Using the same data and assumptions, I find that the border effect for Canada is half as large as reported by Anderson and Van Wincoop.

Suggested Citation

  • Bas Straathof, 2008. "Gravity with gravitas: comment," CPB Discussion Paper 111, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpb:discus:111
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dennis Novy, 2013. "Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs With Panel Data," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(1), pages 101-121, January.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    3. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H., 2007. "Structural estimation and the border puzzle," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 451-463, July.
    5. Daniel J. Henderson & Daniel L. Millimet, 2008. "Is gravity linear?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 137-172.
    6. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
    7. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
    8. David S. Jacks & Christopher M. Meissner & Dennis Novy, 2008. "Trade Costs, 1870-2000," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 529-534, May.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bas Straathof & Gert Jan Linders & Arjan Lejour & Jan Möhlmann, 2008. "The internal market and the Dutch economy: implications for trade and economic growth," CPB Document 168, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    2. Arvis, Jean-François & Shepherd, Ben, 2011. "The air connectivity index : measuring integration in the global air transport network," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5722, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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