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Gravity, log of gravity and the "distance puzzle"

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  • Clément Bosquet

    () (GREQAM - Groupement de Recherche en Économie Quantitative d'Aix-Marseille - ECM - Ecole Centrale de Marseille - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - AMU - Aix Marseille Université - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales)

  • Hervé Boulhol

    () (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - UP1 - Université Panthéon-Sorbonne)

Abstract

Estimations of gravity equations specified in logarithm generally conclude that the distance elasticity of trade has increased over time despite globalization. In contrast, building on Santos Silva and Tenreyro (2006), this elasticity is estimated to have been stable around 0.65-0.70 since the 1960s. Moreover, although FTAs tend to cover neighboring countries, this main result is robust to different treatments of FTA effects. The main estimated change refers to the impact of colonial linkages, which has been at least halved. This paper brings also several important methodological contributions to the analysis of gravity equations, including broad support for the Poisson PML estimator.

Suggested Citation

  • Clément Bosquet & Hervé Boulhol, 2009. "Gravity, log of gravity and the "distance puzzle"," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) halshs-00401386, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-00401386
    Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-00401386
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2009. "How remote is the offshoring threat?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 53(4), pages 429-444, May.
    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. Céline Carrère & Jaime de Melo & John Wilson, 2013. "The Distance Puzzle And Low-Income Countries: An Update," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(4), pages 717-742, September.
    4. Clément Bosquet & Hervé Boulhol, 2014. "Applying the GLM Variance Assumption to Overcome the Scale-Dependence of the Negative Binomial QGPML Estimator," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(7), pages 772-784, October.
    5. Santos Silva, J.M.C. & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2011. "Further simulation evidence on the performance of the Poisson pseudo-maximum likelihood estimator," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 112(2), pages 220-222, August.
    6. Berthelon, Matias & Freund, Caroline, 2008. "On the conservation of distance in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 310-320, July.
    7. Buch, Claudia M. & Kleinert, Jorn & Toubal, Farid, 2004. "The distance puzzle: on the interpretation of the distance coefficient in gravity equations," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 83(3), pages 293-298, June.
    8. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    9. 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.
    10. 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.
    11. Lionel Fontagne & Soledad Zignago, 2007. "A Re-evaluation of the Impact of Regional Agreements on Trade Patterns," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 109, pages 31-51.
    12. Edward E. Leamer, 2007. "A Flat World, a Level Playing Field, a Small World After All, or None of the Above? A Review of Thomas L Friedman's The World is Flat," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 45(1), pages 83-126, March.
    13. David T Coe & Arvind Subramanian & Natalia T Tamirisa, 2007. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle: Evidence of the Declining Importance of Distance," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 54(1), pages 34-58, May.
    14. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2012. "Death of distance and the distance puzzle," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 116(2), pages 225-228.
    15. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    16. Manning, Willard G. & Mullahy, John, 2001. "Estimating log models: to transform or not to transform?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 461-494, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer, 2013. "What separates us? Sources of resistance to globalization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(4), pages 1196-1231, November.
    2. Lin, Faqin, 2013. "Are distance effects really a puzzle?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 31(C), pages 684-689.
    3. Peter Egger & Kevin Staub, 2016. "GLM estimation of trade gravity models with fixed effects," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(1), pages 137-175, February.
    4. Elizaveta Archanskaia & Guillaume Daudin, 2012. "Heterogeneity and the Distance Puzzle," FIW Working Paper series 095, FIW.
    5. Samuel Standaert & Stijn Ronsse & Benjamin Vandermarliere, 2016. "Historical trade integration: globalization and the distance puzzle in the long twentieth century," Cliometrica, Springer;Cliometric Society (Association Francaise de Cliométrie), vol. 10(2), pages 225-250, May.
    6. Juyoung Cheong & Do Won Kwak & Kam Ki Tang, 2016. "The distance effects on the intensive and extensive margins of trade over time," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 50(2), pages 253-278, March.
    7. Marlies Hanna Schütz & Nicole Palan, 2016. "Restructuring of the international clothing and textile trade network: the role of Italy and Portugal," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 5(1), pages 1-29, December.
    8. Yotov, Yoto V., 2012. "A simple solution to the distance puzzle in international trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 794-798.
    9. repec:bla:asiaec:v:31:y:2017:i:3:p:299-323 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H. & Larch, Mario & Yotov, Yoto V., 2015. "Economic integration agreements, border effects, and distance elasticities in the gravity equation," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 307-327.
    11. Guillaume Daudin & Elizaveta Archanskaia, 2012. "Heterogeneity and distance puzzle," Working Papers hal-01073683, HAL.
    12. Samuel Standaert & Stijn Ronsse & Benjamin Vandermarliere, 2014. "Historical trade integration: Globalization and the distance puzzle in the long 20th century," Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium 14/897, Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    distance puzzle; gravity equations; international trade; pseudo-maximum likelihood methods;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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