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The Gravity Equation in International Trade

  • Michele Fratianni

    (Department of Business Economics and Public Policy, Indiana University Kelley School of Business)

This chapter offers a selective survey of the gravity equation (GE) in international trade. This equation started in the Sixties as a purely empirical proposition to explain bilateral trade flows, without little or no theoretical underpinnings. At the end of the Seventies, the GE was "legitimized" by a series of theoretical articles that demonstrated that the basic GE form was consistent with various models of trade flows. Empirical applications of GE expanded to cover a variety of issues, such as the impact of regional trade agreements, national borders and currency unions on trade, as well as the use of the equation to sort out the relative merit of alternative trade theories. A new wave of studies is now concentrating on the general equilibrium properties of the GE and finer econometrics points. The renewed interest of the academic profession in the development of the GE is undoubtedly driven by the equation’s empirical success.

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File URL: http://kelley.iu.edu/riharbau/RePEc/iuk/wpaper/bepp2007-17-fratianni.pdf
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Paper provided by Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy in its series Working Papers with number 2007-17.

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Date of creation: Aug 2007
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Publication status: Forthcoming in Handbook of International Business, 2nd Edition
Handle: RePEc:iuk:wpaper:2007-17
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  1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2001. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," NBER Working Papers 8079, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  4. Deardorff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Papers 95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  5. Soloaga, Isidro & Alan Wintersb, L., 2001. "Regionalism in the nineties: what effect on trade?," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 1-29, March.
  6. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, 04.
  7. Simon J. Evenett & Wolfgang Keller, 1996. "On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation," International Trade 9608001, EconWPA, revised 13 Jun 1997.
  8. John F. Helliwell, 1995. "Do National Borders Matter for Quebec's Trade?," NBER Working Papers 5215, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Jon Haveman & David Hummels, 2004. "Alternative hypotheses and the volume of trade: the gravity equation and the extent of specialization," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 37(1), pages 199-218, February.
  10. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1989. "The Generalized Gravity Equation, Monopolistic Competition, and the Factor-Proportions Theory in International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 71(1), pages 143-53, February.
  11. 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.
  12. Torsten Persson, 2001. "Currency unions and trade: how large is the treatment effect?," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 16(33), pages 433-462, October.
  13. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
  14. Robert C. Feenstra & James R. Markusen & Andrew K. Rose, 2001. "Using the gravity equation to differentiate among alternative theories of trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 34(2), pages 430-447, May.
  15. Carrere, Celine, 2006. "Revisiting the effects of regional trade agreements on trade flows with proper specification of the gravity model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 223-247, February.
  16. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
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