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Trade and infrastructure: evidences from the Andean Community


  • Rojas, Gina E. Acosta
  • Calfat, Germán
  • Flôres Junior, Renato Galvão


This paper presents evidence on the key role of infrastructure in the Andean Community trade patterns. Three distinct but related gravity models of bilateral trade are used. The first model aims at identifying the importance of the Preferential Trade Agreement and adjacency on intra-regional trade, while also checking the traditional roles of economic size and distance. The second and third models also assess the evolution of the Trade Agreement and the importance of sharing a common border, but their main goal is to analyze the relevance of including infrastructure in the augmented gravity equation, testing the theoretical assumption that infrastructure endowments, by reducing trade and transport costs, reduce 'distance' between bilateral partners. Indeed, if one accepts distance as a proxy for transportation costs, infrastructure development and improvement drastically modify it. Trade liberalization eliminates most of the distortions that a protectionist tariff system imposes on international business; hence transportation costs represent nowadays a considerably larger barrier to trade than in past decades. As new trade pacts are being negotiated in the Americas, borders and old agreements will lose significance; trade among countries will be nearly without restrictions, and bilateral flows will be defined in terms of costs and competitiveness. Competitiveness, however, will only be achieved by an improvement in infrastructure services at all points in the production-distribution chain.

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  • Rojas, Gina E. Acosta & Calfat, Germán & Flôres Junior, Renato Galvão, 2005. "Trade and infrastructure: evidences from the Andean Community," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 580, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:epgewp:580

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    1. César Calderón & Alberto Chong, 2004. "Volume and Quality of Infrastructure and the Distribution of Income: An Empirical Investigation," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 50(1), pages 87-106, March.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    3. Carrillo-Tudela, Carlos & A Li, Carmen, 2004. "Trade Blocks and the Gravity Model: Evidence from Latin American Countries," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 19, pages 667-689.
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    5. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72.
    6. Paul R. Krugman, 1991. "The move toward free trade zones," Proceedings - Economic Policy Symposium - Jackson Hole, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, pages 7-58.
    7. Ingram, Gregory K. & Zhi Liu, 1997. "Motorization and the provision of roads in countries and cities," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1842, The World Bank.
    8. Inmaculada Martínez-Zarzoso & Felicitas Nowak-Lehmann D., 2003. "Explaining MERCOSUR sectoral exports to the EU: The role of economic and geographical distance," International Trade 0309025, EconWPA.
    9. Limao, Nuno & Venables, Anthony J., 1999. "Infrastructure, geographical disadvantage, and transport costs," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2257, The World Bank.
    10. Porojan, A., 2000. "Trade Flows and Spatial Effects: The Gravity Model Revisited," Discussion Papers 0004, Exeter University, Department of Economics.
    11. Antonio Estache & V. Foster & Q. Wodon, 2002. "Accounting for Poverty in Infrastructure Reform: Learning from Latin America's Experience," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/44108, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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    Cited by:

    1. Bonomo, Marco Antônio Cesar & Terra, Maria Cristina T., 2005. "Special interests and political business cycles," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 597, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    2. repec:ebd:wpaper:159 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Cipollina, Maria & Salvatici, Luca, 2007. "EU and developing countries: an analysis of preferential margins on agricultural trade flows," Working Papers 7219, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
    4. Barbosa, Fernando de Holanda, 2005. "The contagion effect of public debt on monetary policy: the brazilian experience," FGV/EPGE Economics Working Papers (Ensaios Economicos da EPGE) 591, FGV/EPGE - Escola Brasileira de Economia e Finanças, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
    5. Cardamone, Paola, 2007. "A Survey of the Assessments of the Effectiveness of Preferential Trade Agreements using Gravity Models," Economia Internazionale / International Economics, Camera di Commercio Industria Artigianato Agricoltura di Genova, vol. 60(4), pages 421-473.
    6. Maria Florencia Granato, 2011. "REGIONAL NEW ECONOMIC GEOGRAPHY (refereed paper)," ERSA conference papers ersa10p747, European Regional Science Association.

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