IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Distance Effect and the Regionalization of the Trade of Low-Income Countries

  • Carrère, Céline
  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Wilson, John

The “distance effect” measuring the elasticity of trade flows to distance has been to be rising since the early 1970s in a host of studies based on the gravity model, leading observers to call it the “distance puzzle”. We review the evidence and explanations. Using an extensive data set of 124 countries over the period 1970-2005, we confirm the existence of this puzzle and identify that it only applies to poor countries (the bottom third in per capita income terms in our sample—i.e. the low-income countries according to the World Bank classification, 2006). We show that this group has intensified trade with closer partners and have chosen new partners that are closer than existing partners, leading to a regionalization of their trade at both extensive and intensive margins (regionalization of trade is absent for the other countries). Combining several methods on cross-section and panel estimates of the gravity equation, we estimate that low-income countries exhibit a significant rising distance effect on their trade around 18% between 1970 and 2006 while there is no more distance “puzzle” for trade within richer countries (the top third in per capita income terms in our sample). We dispose of several previous explanations of the puzzle, and note that this regionalization could well be a reflection of both increased integration of this group of countries in the world economy or a greater marginalization.

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: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=7458
Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7458.

as
in new window

Length:
Date of creation: Sep 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7458
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for Economic Policy Research, 77 Bastwick Street, London EC1V 3PZ.
Phone: 44 - 20 - 7183 8801
Fax: 44 - 20 - 7183 8820

Order Information: Email:


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. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The log of gravity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3744, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  2. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2004. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," Development Working Papers 186, Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano.
  3. Jacques Melitz, 2003. "Language and Foreign Trade," Working Papers 2003-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  4. Shepherd, Ben & Wilson, John S., 2006. "Road infrastructure in Europe and Central Asia : does network quality affect trade ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4104, The World Bank.
  5. Allen Dennis & Ben Shepherd, 2011. "Trade Facilitation and Export Diversification," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34(1), pages 101-122, 01.
  6. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2006. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 642-674, December.
  7. Hummels, David & Lugovskyy, Volodymyr & Skiba, Alexandre, 2009. "The trade reducing effects of market power in international shipping," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 84-97, May.
  8. J. A. Hausman & W. E. Taylor, 1980. "Panel Data and Unobservable Individual Effects," Working papers 255, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  9. Shepherd , Ben & Wilson, John S., 2008. "Trade facilitation in ASEAN member countries : measuring progress and assessing priorities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4615, The World Bank.
  10. Melitz, Jacques, 2007. "North, South and distance in the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(4), pages 971-991, May.
  11. 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.
  12. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," International Trade 9608001, EconWPA, revised 13 Jun 1997.
  13. Toke S. Aidt & Martin Gassebner, 2010. "Do Autocratic States Trade Less?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 24(1), pages 38-76, January.
  14. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, S.J., 1999. "Insecurity and the Pattern of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 418, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 03 Aug 2000.
  15. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  16. Francois, Joseph & Manchin, Miriam, 2013. "Institutions, Infrastructure, and Trade," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 46(C), pages 165-175.
  17. Arellano, Manuel & Honore, Bo, 2001. "Panel data models: some recent developments," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 53, pages 3229-3296 Elsevier.
  18. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Carrere, Celine & Schiff, Maurice, 2004. "On the geography of trade : distance is alive and well," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3206, The World Bank.
  20. Buys, Piet & Deichmann, Uwe & Wheeler, David, 2006. "Road network upgrading and overland trade expansion in Sub-Saharan Africa," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4097, The World Bank.
  21. Baltagi, Badi H. & Bresson, Georges & Pirotte, Alain, 2003. "Fixed effects, random effects or Hausman-Taylor?: A pretest estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 79(3), pages 361-369, June.
  22. Jonathan Eaton & Akiko Tamura, 1995. "Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns," NBER Working Papers 4758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. repec:lmu:muenar:20646 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. 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.
  25. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72, December.
  26. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1998. "The Regionalization of the World Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran98-1, August.
  27. Partha Deb & Pravin K. Trivedi, 2006. "Specification and simulated likelihood estimation of a non-normal treatment-outcome model with selection: Application to health care utilization," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 9(2), pages 307-331, 07.
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:cpr:ceprdp:7458. 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: ()

The email address of this maintainer does not seem to be valid anymore. Please ask to update the entry or send us the correct address

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.