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Market Access, Economic Geography and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Assessment

  • Donald R. Davis
  • David E. Weinstein

The increasing returns revolution in trade is incomplete in an important respect - there exists no compelling empirical demonstration of the role of increasing returns in determining production and trade structure. One reason is that trade patterns of the canonical increasing returns models are a consequence simply of specialization, which all theories permit. Krugman (1980) shows that increasing returns models with costs of trade - economic geography - do allow a simple test: home market effects of demand on production. Davis and Weinstein (1996) reject the simple Krugman (1980) model on OECD data. Here we pair the model with a richer geography structure and find evidence of the importance of increasing returns, in combination with comparative advantage, in affecting OECD manufacturing production structure. The results underscore the importance of market access in implementing models of economic geography.

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Paper provided by Harvard - Institute of Economic Research in its series Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers with number 1850.

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Date of creation: 1998
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Handle: RePEc:fth:harver:1850
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  1. Donald R. Davis, 1997. "The Home Market, Trade, and Industrial Structure," NBER Working Papers 6076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 1997. "Economic Geography and Regional Production Structure: An Empirical Investigation," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1802, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  3. Davis, D.R. & Weinstein, D.E., 1997. "Does Economic Geography Matter for International Specialization?," Papers 591, Harvard - Institute for International Development.
  4. Davis, Donald R. & David E. Weinstein & Scott C. Bradford & Kazushige Shimpo, 1997. "Using International and Japanese Regional Data to Determine When the Factor Abundance Theory of Trade Works," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 421-46, June.
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  7. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 1995. "How wide is the border?," Research Working Paper 95-09, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
  8. Davis, Donald R., 1995. "Intra-industry trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 201-226, November.
  9. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J, 1995. "The Seamless World: A Spatial Model of International Specialization," CEPR Discussion Papers 1230, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Shang-Jin Wei, 1996. "Intra-National versus International Trade: How Stubborn are Nations in Global Integration?," NBER Working Papers 5531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  12. Alan V. Deardorff, 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," NBER Working Papers 5377, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Hummels, D. & Levinsohn, J., 1993. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade: Reconsidering the Evidence," Working Papers 339, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  14. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
  16. Krugman, Paul & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," Working Paper Series 430, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
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  19. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
  20. Weder, Rolf, 1995. "Linking Absolute and Comparative Advantage to Intra-industry Trade Theory," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(3), pages 342-54, October.
  21. 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.
  22. Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1982. "Shifting Comparative Advantage, Protectionist Demands, and Policy Response," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 151-196 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
  24. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-23, June.
  25. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  26. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, August.
  27. Davis, Donald R, 1997. "Critical Evidence on Comparative Advantage? North-North Trade in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1051-60, October.
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