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The Structure and Growth of International Trade

  • Massimo Riccaboni
  • Stefano Schiavo

The paper develops a model of proportionate growth to describe the dynamics of international trade flows. We show that a large number of the empirical regularities characterizing international trade — such as the fraction of zero trade flows across pairs of countries, the positive relationship between intensive and extensive margins, the high concentration of trade with respect to both products and destinations, the core-periphery structure of exchanges — are well explained by this simple stochastic setup. This helps us to distinguish among economically relevant regularities and those simply resulting from the mechanical interactions among agents. Furthermore, our model can be used to describe the process of 'self-discovery' that lie at the foundations of successful export-led growth and is thought to play a crucial role in the process of economic development. Our model correctly predicts that large export flows are rare events, as pointed out in the empirical literature: yet, countries characterized by large 'discovery' efforts are much more likely to draw a 'big hit' due to the (very skewed) shape of the distribution of bilateral export flows.

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File URL: http://degit.sam.sdu.dk/papers/degit_15/c015_032.pdf
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Paper provided by DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade in its series DEGIT Conference Papers with number c015_032.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:deg:conpap:c015_032
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  1. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2008. "The World-Trade Web: Topological Properties, Dynamics, and Evolution," Working Papers hal-01066180, HAL.
  2. Massimo Riccaboni & Fabio Pammolli & Sergey V. Buldyrev & Linda Ponta & H. Eugene Stanley, 2009. "The Size Variance Relationship of Business Firm Growth Rates," DISA Working Papers 0901, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 11 Jun 2009.
  3. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  4. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "The Margins of US Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0906, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Ricardo Hausmann & Dani Rodrik, 2002. "Economic Development as Self-Discovery," NBER Working Papers 8952, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Cesar A. Hidalgo & Ricardo Hausmann, 2009. "The Building Blocks of Economic Complexity," Papers 0909.3890, arXiv.org.
  8. Guimarães, Paulo & Figueiredo, Octávio & Woodward, Douglas, 2009. "Dartboard tests for the location quotient," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 360-364, May.
  9. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equation with intensive and extensive margins," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00610937, HAL.
  10. Giorgio Fagiolo & Javier Reyes & Stefano Schiavo, 2007. "On the Topological Properties of the World Trade Web: A Weighted Network Analysis," Papers 0708.4359, arXiv.org.
  11. Roc Armenter & Mikl?s Koren, 2014. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2127-51, July.
  12. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Sebastian Krautheim, 2007. "Gravity and Information: Heterogeneous Firms, Exporter Networks and the 'Distance Puzzle'," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/51, European University Institute.
  14. D. Garlaschelli & M. I. Loffredo, 2005. "Structure and Evolution of the World Trade Network," Papers physics/0502066, arXiv.org, revised May 2005.
  15. Giorgio Fagiolo & Mauro Napoletano & Andrea Roventini, 2006. "Are output growth-rate distributions fat-tailed? Some evidence from OECD countries," Sciences Po publications 36, Sciences Po.
  16. Yamasaki, Kazuko & Matia, Kaushik & Buldyrev, Sergey V. & Fu, Dongfeng & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2004. "Preferential attachment and growth dynamics in complex systems," MPRA Paper 15908, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Feb 2006.
  17. C. A. Hidalgo & B. Klinger & A. -L. Barabasi & R. Hausmann, 2007. "The Product Space Conditions the Development of Nations," Papers 0708.2090, arXiv.org.
  18. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2011. "The role of extensive and intensive margins and export growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(2), pages 371-379, November.
  19. Dongfeng Fu & Fabio Pammolli & S. V. Buldyrev & Massimo Riccaboni & Kaushik Matia & Kazuko Yamasaki & H. E. Stanley, 2005. "The Growth of Business Firms: Theoretical Framework and Empirical Evidence," Papers physics/0512005, arXiv.org.
  20. 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.
  21. Raja Kali & Javier Reyes, 2010. "Financial Contagion On The International Trade Network," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(4), pages 1072-1101, October.
  22. K. Bhattacharya & G. Mukherjee & J. Saramaki & K. Kaski & S. S. Manna, 2007. "The International Trade Network: weighted network analysis and modelling," Papers 0707.4343, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2008.
  23. Garlaschelli, Diego & Loffredo, Maria I., 2005. "Structure and evolution of the world trade network," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 355(1), pages 138-144.
  24. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Massimo Riccaboni & Stefano Schiavo, 2009. "The Structure and Growth of Weighted Networks," Papers 0908.0348, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2009.
  26. D. Garlaschelli & M. I. Loffredo, 2004. "Fitness-dependent topological properties of the World Trade Web," Papers cond-mat/0403051, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2004.
  27. Growiec, Jakub & Pammolli, Fabio & Riccaboni, Massimo & Stanley, H. Eugene, 2008. "On the size distribution of business firms," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 98(2), pages 207-212, February.
  28. Sergey V. Buldyrev & Jakub Growiec & Fabio Pammolli & Massimo Riccaboni & H. Eugene Stanley, 2007. "The Growth of Business Firms: Facts and Theory," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 5(2-3), pages 574-584, 04-05.
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