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The Geography of Trade in Goods and Asset Holdings

Gravity models have been widely used to describe bilateral trade in goods. Recently, Portes and Rey [1999] applied this framework to cross border equity flows and found that distance, which proxies information asymmetries in financial markets, is a surprisingly very large barrier to cross-border asset trade. We adopt here a different point of view and explore the complementarity between bilateral trade in goods and bilateral asset holdings. We jointly study trade in goods and banking assets in a simultaneous gravity equations framework using different instruments for both endogenous variables. To instrument trade in goods, we choose geographical variables (excluding distance) and data on bilateral transport costs. For asset holdings, we use legal similarities between countries and data on the international taxation of withheld capital. We find that the strong correlation between bilateral trade in goods and asset holdings is not simply due to distance: bilateral trade in goods generates bilateral asset holdings and vice versa. Those effects are of first order magnitude: a 10% increase in trade generates a 6 to 7% increase of asset holdings, and a 10% increase in banking claims induces a 2 to 3% increase in trade. Finally, we investigate the question of the remaining impact of distance. We find out that the impact of distance on trade in goods is only slightly reduced, while for asset holdings, a large part of the effect of distance is going through trade.

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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number DR 06012.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-06012
Contact details of provider: Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France
Web page: http://www.essec.edu/
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  1. Reuven Glick & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Does a currency union affect trade? the time series evidence," Working Paper Series 2001-13, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Claudia M. Buch, 2005. "Distance and International Banking," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 787-804, 09.
  3. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 593, Boston College Department of Economics.
  4. La Porta, Rafael & Lopez-de-Silanes, Florencio & Shleifer, Andrei & Vishny, Robert W., 1998. "Law and Finance," Scholarly Articles 3451310, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  6. P Martin & H Rey, 2000. "Financial Super-Markets: Size Matters for Asset Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0450, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Bulow, Jeremy & Rogoff, Kenneth S., 1989. "A Constant Recontracting Model of Sovereign Debt," Scholarly Articles 12491028, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
  9. Maurice Obstfeld and Kenneth Rogoff., 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research (CIDER) Working Papers C00-112, University of California at Berkeley.
  10. Loungani, Prakash & Mody, Ashoka & Razin, Assaf, 2002. "The Global Disconnect: The Role of Transactional Distance and Scale Economies in Gravity Equations," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 49(5), pages 526-43, December.
  11. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2004. "A Gravity Model of Sovereign Lending: Trade, Default, and Credit," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 51(s1), pages 50-63, June.
  12. Aart Kraay & Norman Loayza & Luis Servén, 2001. "Country portfolios," Working Papers Central Bank of Chile 91, Central Bank of Chile.
  13. Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "One Reason Countries Pay Their Debts: Renegotiation and International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3157, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Philippe Martin & Helene Rey, 2002. "Financial Globalization and Emerging Markets: With or Without Crash?," NBER Working Papers 9288, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Harald Hau, 2001. "Location Matters: An Examination of Trading Profits," Journal of Finance, American Finance Association, vol. 56(5), pages 1959-1983, October.
  16. RAFAEL LaPORTA & FLORENCIO LOPEZ-de-SILANES & ANDREI SHLEIFER & ROBERT W. VISHNY, . "Legal Determinants of External Finance,"," CRSP working papers 324, Center for Research in Security Prices, Graduate School of Business, University of Chicago.
  17. Portes, Richard & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 2225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
  19. Frankel, Jeffrey & Rose, Andrew K., 2001. "An Estimate of the Effect of Common Currencies on Trade and Income," Working Paper Series rwp01-013, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  20. Mody, Ashoka & Razin, Assaf & Sadka, Efraim, 2002. "The Role of Information in Driving FDI: Theory and Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 3619, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  21. Combes, Pierre-Philippe & Lafourcade, Miren & Mayer, Thierry, 2005. "The trade-creating effects of business and social networks: evidence from France," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 66(1), pages 1-29, May.
  22. Angel Serrat, 2001. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of International Portfolio Holdings," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(6), pages 1467-1489, November.
  23. Jonathan Eaton & Raquel Fernandez, 1995. "Sovereign Debt," NBER Working Papers 5131, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  24. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Guibaud, Stéphane, 2006. "A Dynamic Equilibrium Model of Imperfectly Integrated Financial Markets," ESSEC Working Papers DR 06014, ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School.
  25. repec:hal:wpaper:halshs-00590775 is not listed on IDEAS
  26. Philip R. Lane & Gian Maria Milesi-Ferretti, 2008. "International Investment Patterns," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 538-549, August.
  27. Jean Imbs, 2004. "Trade, Finance, Specialization, and Synchronization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 723-734, August.
  28. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  29. James E. Anderson & Douglas Marcouiller, 2002. "Insecurity And The Pattern Of Trade: An Empirical Investigation," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(2), pages 342-352, May.
  30. Joshua D. Coval & Tobias J. Moskowitz, 2001. "The Geography of Investment: Informed Trading and Asset Prices," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 109(4), pages 811-841, August.
  31. Huberman, Gur, 2001. "Familiarity Breeds Investment," Review of Financial Studies, Society for Financial Studies, vol. 14(3), pages 659-80.
  32. Portes, Richard & Rey, Helene & Oh, Yonghyup, 2001. "Information and capital flows: The determinants of transactions in financial assets," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 783-796, May.
  33. repec:imf:imfwpa:04/134 is not listed on IDEAS
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