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Trade Costs, Trade Balances And Current Accounts: An Application Of Gravity To Multilateral Trade

  • Giorgio Fazio
  • Ronald MacDonald
  • Jacques Melitz

In this paper we test the well-known hypothesis of Obstfeld and Rogoff (2000) that trade costs are the key to explaining the so-called Feldstein-Horioka puzzle. Our approach has a number of novel features. First, we focus on the interrelationship between trade costs, the trade account and the Feldstein-Horioka puzzle. Second, we use the gravity model to estimate the effect of trade costs on bilateral trade and, third, we show how bilateral trade can be used to draw inferences about desired trade balances and desired intertemporal trade. Our econo-metric results provide strong support for the Obstfeld and Rogoff hypothesis and we are also able to reconcile our results with the so-called home bias puzzle.

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Paper provided by Business School - Economics, University of Glasgow in its series Working Papers with number 2007_18.

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Date of creation: Jul 2007
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Handle: RePEc:gla:glaewp:2007_18
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  11. Obstfeld, Maurice & Rogoff, Kenneth, 2000. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," Center for International and Development Economics Research, Working Paper Series qt0sx02651, Center for International and Development Economics Research, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  16. Gordon, R.H. & Bovenberg, A.L., 1994. "Why Is Capital So Immobile Internationally?: Possible Explanations and Implications for Capital Income Taxation," Working Papers 358, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  17. Aart Kraay & Jaume Ventura, 2000. "Current Accounts in Debtor and Creditor Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1137-1166.
  18. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Tamim Bayoumi, 1999. "Estimating Trade Equations from Aggregate Bilateral Data," IMF Working Papers 99/74, International Monetary Fund.
  20. Paul Bergin & Reuven Glick, 2007. "A Model of Endogenous Nontradability and its Implications for the Current Account," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(5), pages 916-931, November.
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  22. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  23. Bovenberg, A.L. & Gordon, R.H., 1996. "Why is capital so immobile internationally? Possible explanation and implications for capital income taxation," Other publications TiSEM 6a131c21-fd9a-4d83-8d9a-7, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  24. Andrew B. Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1998. "Export Entry and Exit by German Firms," NBER Working Papers 6538, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  25. Alan M. Taylor, 2002. "A Century of Current Account Dynamics," NBER Working Papers 8927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Cochrane, John H, 1988. "How Big Is the Random Walk in GNP?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(5), pages 893-920, October.
  27. Sebastian Edwards, 2004. "Thirty Years of Current Account Imbalances, Current Account Reversals and Sudden Stops," NBER Working Papers 10276, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. 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.
  29. Reuven Glick & Paul Bergin, 2003. "Endogenous Nontradability and Macroeconomic Implications," Computing in Economics and Finance 2003 106, Society for Computational Economics.
  30. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
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