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Bayesian Inference in the Gravity Model


  • Ranjan, Priya
  • Tobias, Justin


his paper seeks to empirically extend the gravity model, which has been widely used to analyze volumes of trade between pairs of countries. We generalize the basic threshold tobit model by allowing for the inclusion of country-specific effects into the analysis and also show how one can explore the relationship between trade volumes and a given covariate via a non-parametric approach. We use our derived methodology to investigate the impact of a particular aspect of institutions—the enforcement of contracts—on bilateral trade. We find that contract enforcement matters in predicting trade volumes for all types of goods, that it matters most for the trade of differentiated goods, and that the relationship between contract enforcement and trade in our threshold tobit exhibits some nonlinearities.

Suggested Citation

  • Ranjan, Priya & Tobias, Justin, 2007. "Bayesian Inference in the Gravity Model," Staff General Research Papers Archive 12721, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:isu:genres:12721

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amani Elobeid & Simla Tokgoz, 2006. "Removal of U.S. Ethanol Domestic and Trade Distortions: Impact on U.S. and Brazilian Ethanol Markets," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 06-wp427, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
    2. Gallagher, Paul W. & Shapouri, Hosein & Price, Jeffrey & Schamel, Guenter & Brubaker, Heather, 2003. "Some Long-Run Effects of Growing Markets and Renewable Fuel Standards on Additives Markets and the U.S. Ethanol Industry," Staff General Research Papers Archive 10648, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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    Cited by:

    1. Eaton, Derek J.F., 2009. "Trade and Intellectual Property Rights in the Agricultural Seed Sector," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51782, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Daniel J. Henderson & Daniel L. Millimet, 2008. "Is gravity linear?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(2), pages 137-172.
    3. James P. LeSage & Christine Thomas-Agnan, 2015. "Interpreting Spatial Econometric Origin-Destination Flow Models," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 55(2), pages 188-208, March.
    4. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2013. "The Determinants of Intrafirm Trade: Evidence from French Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 825-838, July.
    5. Gregory Corcos & Delphine M. Irac & Giordano Mion & Thierry Verdier, 2008. "The Determinants of Intra-Firm Trade," Development Working Papers 267, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    6. Bo Xiong & Sixia Chen, 2014. "Estimating gravity equation models in the presence of sample selection and heteroscedasticity," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(24), pages 2993-3003, August.
    7. Christian Volpe Martincus & Jerónimo Carballo, 2012. "Export promotion activities in developing countries: What kind of trade do they promote?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 21(4), pages 539-578, June.
    8. Oxana Babecka Kucharcukova & Jan Babecky & Martin Raiser, 2010. "A Gravity Approach to Modelling International Trade in South-Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States: The Role of Geography, Policy and Institutions," Working Papers 2010/04, Czech National Bank, Research Department.
    9. Egger, Peter & Nelson, Doug R & von Ehrlich, Maximilian, 2012. "The Trade Effects of Skilled versus Unskilled Migration," CEPR Discussion Papers 9053, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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