IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Heterogeneity and the Distance Puzzle

  • Elizaveta Archanskaia


    (KU Leuven, Sciences-Po-OFCE)

  • Guillaume Daudin


    (PSL, Université Paris-Dauphine, LEDa, UMR DIAL, Sciences-Po, OFCE)

(english) This paper shows that declining exporter-specific product heterogeneity can explain the nondecreasing distance elasticity of trade in 1963-2009. The paper first examines common explanations of the distance puzzle: sample and sectorial composition effects and the rise of FTAs. In the Armington framework, perceived increasing substitutability of exporter specific product bundles, i.e. the elasticity of trade flows to trade costs, can explain an increase in the distance coefficient. We provide robust empirical evidence that was the case over 1963-2009. Consequently, the well-documented increase in the distance coefficient is compatible with a reduction in the elasticity of trade costs to distance. _________________________________ (français) Cet article montre que la diminution de l'hétérogénéité des variétés de produits par chaque exportateur peut expliquer l'absence de réduction de l'élasticité du commerce à la distance entre 1963 et 2009. L'article examine tout d'abord des explications courantes de ce « paradoxe de la distance » : l'effet d'échantillon, l'effet de composition et la montée des traités de libre-échange. Dans le cadre d'Armington, l'augmentation de la substituabilité subjective entre les paniers de biens produits par chaque exportateur, autrement dit l'élasticité des flux commerciaux aux coûts du commerce, peut expliquer l'augmentation du coefficient de la distance. Nous fournissons des données empiriquement robustes pour montrer que cela a été le cas entre 1963 et 2009. En conséquence, l'augmentation du coefficient de la distance est bien compatible avec une baisse de l'élasticité des coûts du commerce à la distance.

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:
File Function: First version, 2012
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by DIAL (Développement, Institutions et Mondialisation) in its series Working Papers with number DT/2012/09.

in new window

Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:dia:wpaper:dt201209
Contact details of provider: Postal: 4, rue d'Enghien, 75010 Paris
Phone: + 33 1 53 24 14 50
Fax: + 33 1 53 24 14 51
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

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. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Christopher S. P. Magee & Stephen P. Magee, 2008. "The United States is a Small Country in World Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 990-1004, November.
  3. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2007. "Specialisation across Varieties within Products and North-South Competition," Working Papers 2007-06, CEPII research center.
  4. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00401386 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Gilles Duranton & Michael Storper, 2005. "Rising Trade Costs? Agglomeration and Trade with Endogenous Transaction Costs," CEP Discussion Papers dp0683, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Ina Simonovska & Michael Waugh, 2011. "The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates and Evidence," Working Papers 112, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. David Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2012. "Time as a Trade Barrier," NBER Working Papers 17758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Clément Bosquet & Hervé Boulhol, 2010. "Scale-dependence of the Negative Binomial Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood Estimator," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne 10092, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  10. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What Separates Us? Sources of Resistance to Globalization," Working Papers 2013-26, CEPII research center.
  11. Erkel-Rousse, H. & Mirza, D., 2000. "Import Price-Elasticities : Reconsidering the Evidence," Papiers d'Economie Mathématique et Applications 2000.52, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1).
  12. Guillaume Daudin & Christine Rifflart & Danielle Schweisguth, 2009. "Who produces for whom in the world economy?," Sciences Po publications 2009-18, Sciences Po.
  13. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
  14. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2004. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," CESifo Working Paper Series 1276, CESifo Group Munich.
  15. Mullahy, John, 1986. "Specification and testing of some modified count data models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 341-365, December.
  16. Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2010. "BACI: International Trade Database at the Product-Level. The 1994-2007 Version," Working Papers 2010-23, CEPII research center.
  17. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2011. "The Trade Effects of Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 113-43, August.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Buch, Claudia M. & Kleinert, Jorn & Toubal, Farid, 2004. "The distance puzzle: on the interpretation of the distance coefficient in gravity equations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 293-298, June.
  21. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  22. Jean-François BRUN & Céline CARRERE & Patrick GUILLAUMONT & Jaime MELO DE, 2002. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," Working Papers 200215, CERDI.
  23. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-65, December.
  24. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Willard G. Manning & John Mullahy, 1999. "Estimating Log Models: To Transform or Not to Transform?," NBER Technical Working Papers 0246, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Welsch, Heinz, 2006. "Armington elasticities and induced intra-industry specialization: The case of France, 1970-1997," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 556-567, May.
  27. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  28. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  29. Krautheim, Sebastian, 2012. "Heterogeneous firms, exporter networks and the effect of distance on international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 27-35.
  30. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H. & Feng, Michael, 2014. "Economic integration agreements and the margins of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(2), pages 339-350.
  31. Clément Bosquet & Hervé Boulhol, 2015. "What is really puzzling about the “distance puzzle”," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 151(1), pages 1-21, February.
  32. Thomas Chaney, 2013. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: An Explanation," NBER Working Papers 19285, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2009. "Further Simulation Evidence on the Performance of the Poisson Pseudo-Maximum Likelihood Estimator," CEP Discussion Papers dp0933, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  34. Guillaume Daudin, 2003. "La logistique de la mondialisation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/688, Sciences Po.
  35. Amiti, Mary & Khandelwal, Amit, 2009. "Competition and Quality Upgrading," CEPR Discussion Papers 7562, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  36. Berthelon, Matias & Freund, Caroline, 2004. "On the conservation of distance in international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3293, The World Bank.
  37. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  38. David T Coe & Arvind Subramanian & Natalia T Tamirisa, 2007. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle: Evidence of the Declining Importance of Distance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 34-58, May.
  39. James Feyrer, 2009. "Trade and Income -- Exploiting Time Series in Geography," NBER Working Papers 14910, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  40. Jing Zhang & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2011. "The Evolution of Comparative Advantage: Measurement and Welfare Implications," 2011 Meeting Papers 302, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  41. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  42. Mika Saito, 2004. "Armington elasticities in intermediate inputs trade: a problem in using multilateral trade data," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(4), pages 1097-1117, November.
  43. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  44. Burger, M.J. & van Oort, F.G. & Linders, G.J.M., 2009. "On the Specification of the Gravity Model of Trade: Zeros, Excess Zeros and Zero-Inflated Estimation," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2009-003-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
  45. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  46. Lionel Fontagne & Soledad Zignago, 2007. "A Re-evaluation of the Impact of Regional Agreements on Trade Patterns," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 109, pages 31-51.
  47. Guillaume Daudin, 2005. "Les transactions de la mondialisation," Sciences Po publications info:hdl:2441/686, Sciences Po.
  48. Larch, Mario & Norbäck, Pehr-Johan & Sirries, Steffen & Urban, Dieter, 2013. "Heterogeneous Firms, Globalization and the Distance Puzzle," Working Paper Series 957, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  49. Lorenzo Caliendo & Fernando Parro, 2015. "Estimates of the Trade and Welfare Effects of NAFTA," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(1), pages 1-44.
  50. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Ivana Komunjer, 2010. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? A Quantitative Exploration of Ricardo's Ideas," NBER Working Papers 16262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  51. Mary Amiti & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2009. "Import Competition and Quality Upgrading," NBER Working Papers 15503, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  52. repec:lmu:muenar:20646 is not listed on IDEAS
  53. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
  54. Crawford, Jo-Ann & Fiorentino, Roberto V., 2005. "The changing landscape of regional trade agreements," WTO Discussion Papers 8, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  55. Lionel Fontagné & Guillaume Gaulier & Soledad Zignago, 2008. "Specialization across varieties and North-South competition," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00270494, HAL.
  56. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Gravity, trade integration, and heterogeneity across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 206-221.
  57. Márquez-Ramos Laura & Martínez-Zarzoso Inmaculada & Suárez-Burguet Celestino, 2007. "The Role of Distance in Gravity Regressions: Is There Really a Missing Globalisation Puzzle?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-25, January.
  58. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00535594 is not listed on IDEAS
  59. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
  60. 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.
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:dia:wpaper:dt201209. 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: (Loic Le Pezennec)

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.