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Does WTO Matter for the Extensive and the Intensive Margins of Trade?

  • Dutt, Pushan
  • Mihov, Ilian
  • Van Zandt, Timothy

We use 6-digit bilateral trade data to document the effect of WTO/GATT membership on the extensive and intensive product margins of trade. We construct gravity equations for the two product margins where the specifications of these gravity equations are motivated by the model of Eaton and Kortum (2002). The data show that the puzzle of no significant impact of WTO membership on trade documented by Rose (2004) manifests itself differently at the product margins of trade. We show that the impact of the WTO is almost exclusively on the extensive product margin of trade, i.e. trade in goods that were not previously traded. In our preferred specification, WTO membership increases the extensive margin of exports by 31%. At the same time, WTO membership has a negligible or even a negative impact on the intensive margin (the volume of already-traded goods). Incidentally, we also document that standard gravity variables provide good explanatory power for bilateral trade on both margins.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 8293.

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Date of creation: Mar 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:8293
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  1. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  3. Pushan Dutt & Daniel Traca, . "Corruption and bilateral trade flows: extortion or evasion?," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/14172, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  4. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  5. Frankel, Jeffrey & Stein, Ernesto & Wei, Shang-jin, 1995. "Trading blocs and the Americas: The natural, the unnatural, and the super-natural," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 61-95, June.
  6. repec:lmu:muenar:20646 is not listed on IDEAS
  7. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
  8. 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.
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