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MARKET OVERLAP AND THE DIRECTION OF EXPORTS - a new approach of assessing the Linder hypothesis


  • Bohman, Helena

    () (Jönköping International Business School (JIBS))

  • Nilsson, Desirée

    () (Jönköping International Business School (JIBS))


The Linder hypothesis states that countries will trade more intensively with countries that have similar structures of demand. We suggest an alternative method of assessing the hypothesis, incorporating the distribution of income within a country. The variables that we develop capture the similarity in demand structures between two trading partners and the size of the market for which the market overlap is identified. These variables are included in a one-sided gravity model. Results show that similarity in structure of demand act as a catalyst of trade flows between countries and that similarities are more important for the differentiated goods than homogenous goods.

Suggested Citation

  • Bohman, Helena & Nilsson, Desirée, 2007. "MARKET OVERLAP AND THE DIRECTION OF EXPORTS - a new approach of assessing the Linder hypothesis," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 86, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:cesisp:0086

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Dow, James & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1992. "Homothetic preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 389-394.
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    3. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
    4. Francois, Joseph F & Kaplan, Seth, 1996. "Aggregate Demand Shifts, Income Distribution, and the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 244-250, May.
    5. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1989. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 104(3), pages 537-564.
    6. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2006. "The World Distribution of Income: Falling Poverty and … Convergence, Period," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 351-397.
    7. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    8. Yo Chul Choi & David Hummels & Chong Xiang, 2006. "Explaining Import Variety and Quality: The Role of the Income Distribution," NBER Working Papers 12531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Juan Carlos Hallak, 2010. "A Product-Quality View of the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(3), pages 453-466, August.
    10. Hunter, Linda, 1991. "The contribution of nonhomothetic preferences to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 345-358, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.

    More about this item


    Linder hypothesis; income distribution; overlapping demand;

    JEL classification:

    • B41 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - Economic Methodology
    • D31 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Personal Income and Wealth Distribution
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General

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