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Estimating the gravity equation with the actual number of exporting firms

Author

Listed:
  • Asier Minondo

    (Deusto Business School)

  • Francisco Requena-Silvente

    (Universidad de Valencia)

Abstract

To estimate correctly the effect of variable trade costs on firms' exports, the gravity equation should control for the number of firms that participate in foreign markets. Due to the absence of these data, previous studies control for this omitted variable using econometric strategies that may also lead to inconsistent estimations. To overcome this problem the present paper estimates a gravity equation using a new database compiled by the OECD and Eurostat that reports the number of exporting firms by reporter and partner country. We show that no controlling for the extensive margin of trade introduces very serious biases in the estimated trade cost coefficients. Moreover, these biases are much larger than predicted by previous studies.

Suggested Citation

  • Asier Minondo & Francisco Requena-Silvente, 2011. "Estimating the gravity equation with the actual number of exporting firms," Working Papers 1121, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
  • Handle: RePEc:eec:wpaper:1121
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    2. Martina Lawless, 2010. "Deconstructing gravity: trade costs and extensive and intensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1149-1172, November.
    3. Andrew K. Rose & Mark M. Spiegel, 2011. "The Olympic Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 121(553), pages 652-677, June.
    4. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
    5. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
    7. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2008. "Trade responses to geographic frictions: A decomposition using micro-data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 527-550, April.
    8. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    10. Matthieu Crozet & Pamina Koenig, 2010. "Structural gravity equations with intensive and extensive margins," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 41-62, February.
    11. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer;German National Library of Economics;Centre for European Policy Studies (CEPS), vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
    12. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    gravity equation; exporting firms; distance; trade costs;

    JEL classification:

    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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