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Trade Flows, Multilateral Resistance, and Firm Heterogeneity

  • Alberto Behar
  • Benjamin D. Nelson

We present a gravity model that accounts for multilateral resistance, firm heterogeneity and country-selection into trade, while accommodating asymmetries in trade flows. A new equation for the proportion of exporting firms takes a gravity form, such that the extensive margin is also affected by multilateral resistance. We develop Taylor approximated multilateral resistance terms with which to capture the comparative static effects of changes in trade costs. For isolated bilateral changes in trade frictions, multilateral resistance effects are small for most countries. However, if all countries reduce their trade frictions, the impact of multilateral resistance is so strong that bilateral trade falls in most cases, despite the larger trade elasticities implied by firm heterogeneity. As a consequence, the world-wide trade response, though positive, is much lower.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 12/297.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: 20 Dec 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:12/297
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  1. Peter Egger & Mario Larch & Kevin E. Staub & Rainer Winkelmann, 2011. "The Trade Effects of Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 113-43, August.
  2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp0795, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Anderson, James E. & Yotov, Yoto V., 2016. "Terms of trade and global efficiency effects of free trade agreements, 1990–2002," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(C), pages 279-298.
  5. Anthony J. Venables & Alberto Behar, 2010. "Transport Costs and International Trade," Economics Series Working Papers 488, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Behar, Alberto & Criville, Laia Cirera i, 2011. "Does it matter who you sign with ? comparing the impacts of north-south and south-south trade agreements on bilateral trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5626, The World Bank.
  7. Alberto Behar & Philip Manners & Benjamin D. Nelson, 2013. "Exports and International Logistics," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 75(6), pages 855-886, December.
  8. André de Palma & Robin Lindsey & Emile Quinet & Roger Vickerman (ed.), 2011. "A Handbook of Transport Economics," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, number 12679.
  9. James E. Anderson & Yoto V. Yotov, 2008. "The Changing Incidence of Geography," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 698, Boston College Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2009. "Bonus vetus OLS: A simple method for approximating international trade-cost effects using the gravity equation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 77-85, February.
  12. 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.
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