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Understanding the Home Market Effect and the Gravity Equation: The Role of Differentiating Goods

  • Feenstra, Robert
  • Markusen, James R.
  • Rose, Andrew K

This paper argues that the theoretical foundations for the gravity equation are general, while the empirical performance of the gravity equation is specific to the type of goods examined. Most existing theory for the gravity equation depends on the assumption of differentiated goods. We show that the gravity equation can also be derived from a 'reciprocal dumping' model of trade in homogeneous goods. The different theories have different testable implications. Theoretically, the gravity equation should have a lower domestic income elasticity for exports of homogeneous goods than of differentiated goods because of a 'home market' effect that depends on barriers to entry. We quantify the home market effect empirically using cross-sectional gravity equations and find that domestic income export elasticities are indeed substantially higher for differentiated goods than for homogeneous goods.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 2035.

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Date of creation: Dec 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:2035
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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. 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.
  3. Davis, D.R., 1997. "The Home Market, Trade, and Industrial Structure," Papers 597, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Hummels, David & Levinsohn, James, 1995. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 110(3), pages 799-836, August.
  5. 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.
  6. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  7. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1982. "A 'Reciprocal Dumping' Model of International Trade," Working Papers 513, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. 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.
  9. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
  10. Markusen, James R., 1981. "Trade and the gains from trade with imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 531-551, November.
  11. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1998. "Market Access, Economic Geography, and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment," NBER Working Papers 6787, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  13. Venables, Anthony J., 1985. "Trade and trade policy with imperfect competition: The case of identical products and free entry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
  14. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
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