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The Duration of Trade Revisited: Continuous-Time vs. Discrete-Time Hazards

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  • Hess, Wolfgang

    () (Lund University)

  • Persson, Maria

    () (Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN))

Abstract

The recent literature on the duration of trade has predominantly analyzed the determinants of trade flow durations using Cox proportional hazards models. The purpose of this paper is to show why it is inappropriate to analyze the duration of trade with continuous-time models such as the Cox model, and to propose alternative discrete-time models which are more suitable for estimation. Briefly, the Cox model has three major drawbacks when applied to large trade data sets. First, it faces problems in the presence of many tied duration times, leading to biased coefficient estimates and standard errors. Second, it is difficult to properly control for unobserved heterogeneity, which can result in spurious duration dependence and parameter bias. Third, the Cox model imposes the restrictive and empirically questionable assumption of proportional hazards. By contrast, with discrete-time models there is no problem handling ties; unobserved heterogeneity can be controlled for without difficulty; and the restrictive proportional hazards assumption can easily be bypassed. By replicating an influential study by Besedeš and Prusa from 2006, but employing discrete-time models as well as the original Cox model, we find empirical support for each of these arguments against the Cox model. Moreover, when comparing estimation results obtained from a Cox model and our preferred discrete-time specification, we find significant differences in both the predicted hazard rates and the estimated effects of explanatory variables on the hazard. In other words, the choice between models affects the conclusions that can be drawn.

Suggested Citation

  • Hess, Wolfgang & Persson, Maria, 2010. "The Duration of Trade Revisited: Continuous-Time vs. Discrete-Time Hazards," Working Paper Series 829, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:0829
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Dahai Fu & Yanrui Wu, 2013. "Export Survival Pattern and Determinants of Chinese Manufacturing Firms," Economics Discussion / Working Papers 13-18, The University of Western Australia, Department of Economics.
    2. Hess , Wolfgang & Persson, Maria, 2011. "Exploring the Long-Term Evolution of Trade Survival," Working Paper Series 880, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    3. Wolfgang Hess & Maria Persson, 2011. "Exploring the duration of EU imports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), pages 665-692.
    4. Florian MAYNERIS & Sandra PONCET, 2011. "Entry on difficult export markets by Chinese domestic firms: the role of foreign export spillovers," Discussion Papers (IRES - Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales) 2011041, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    5. Sena Kimm GNANGNON, 2012. "An analysis of duration dependence of government revenue expansions and contractions in Developing Countries," Working Papers 201229, CERDI.
    6. Stirbat, Liviu & Record, Richard & Nghardsaysone, Konesawang, 2013. "Determinants of export survival in the Lao PDR," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6301, The World Bank.
    7. Florian Mayneris & Sandra Poncet, 2015. "Chinese Firms' Entry to Export Markets: The Role of Foreign Export Spillovers," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, pages 150-179.
    8. Besedes, Tibor, 2011. "Export differentiation in transition economies," Economic Systems, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 25-44, March.
    9. Cadot, Olivier & Iacovone, Leonardo & Pierola, Martha Denisse & Rauch, Ferdinand, 2013. "Success and failure of African exporters," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 284-296.
    10. Peter Nunnenkamp & Hannes Öhler & Tillmann Schwörer, 2011. "US based NGOs in International Development Cooperation: Survival of the Fittest?," Courant Research Centre: Poverty, Equity and Growth - Discussion Papers 83, Courant Research Centre PEG.
    11. Tibor Besedeš, 2013. "The Role of NAFTA and Returns to Scale in Export Duration," CESifo Economic Studies, CESifo, vol. 59(2), pages 306-336, June.
    12. Florian Mayneris & Sandra Poncet, 2010. "Export Performance of China's Domestic Firms: the Role of Foreign Export Spillovers," Working Papers 2010-32, CEPII research center.
    13. Martuscelli,Antonio & Varela,Gonzalo J., 2015. "Survival is for the fittest: export survival patterns in Georgia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7161, The World Bank.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Duration of Trade; Continuous-Time versus Discrete-Time Hazard Models; Proportional Hazards; Unobserved Heterogeneity;

    JEL classification:

    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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