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Exploring the intensive and extensive margins of world trade

  • Felbermayr, Gabriel
  • Kohler, Wilhelm K.

World trade evolves at two margins. Where a bilateral trading relationship already exists it may increase through time (intensive margin). But trade may also increase if a trading bilateral relationship is newly established between countries that have not traded with each other in the past (extensive margin). We provide an empirical dissection of post-World War II growth in manufacturing world trade along these two margins. We propose a "corner-solutions version" of the gravity model to explain movements on both margins. A Tobit estimation of this model resolves the so-called "distance puzzle". It also finds more convincing evidence than recent literature that WTO-membership enhances trade.

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Paper provided by University of Munich, Department of Economics in its series Munich Reprints in Economics with number 20610.

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Date of creation: 2006
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Review of World Economics 4 142(2006): pp. 642-674
Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20610
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  1. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  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. Alan V. Deardorff, 2014. "Local comparative advantage: Trade costs and the pattern of trade," International Journal of Economic Theory, The International Society for Economic Theory, vol. 10(1), pages 9-35, 03.
  4. Claudia Buch & Jörn Kleinert & Farid Toubal, 2004. "The Distance Puzzle: On the Interpretation of the Distance Coefficient in Gravity Equations," Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) hal-00311582, HAL.
  5. Leamer, E. & Levingsohn, J., 1994. "International Trade Theory: The Evidence," Working Papers 368, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Shang-Jin Wei & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "The WTO Promotes Trade, Strongly But Unevenly," IMF Working Papers 03/185, International Monetary Fund.
  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. Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1998. "The Role of History in Bilateral Trade Flows," NBER Chapters, in: The Regionalization of the World Economy, pages 33-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  12. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2003. "Gravity-defying trade," Working Papers 03-1, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.
  13. 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.
  14. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  15. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm357, Yale School of Management.
  16. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Douglas A. Irwin & Marko Tervio, 2000. "Does Trade Raise Income? Evidence from the Twentieth Century," NBER Working Papers 7745, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. repec:rus:hseeco:123558 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Brun, Jean-François & Carrère, Céline & de Melo, Jaime & Guillaumont, Patrick, 2002. "Has Distance Died? Evidence from a Panel Gravity Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 3500, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  20. Peter Egger & Michael Pfaffermayr, 2001. "Distance, Trade and FDI: A Hausman-Taylor SUR Approach," WIFO Working Papers 164, WIFO.
  21. 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.
  22. Rikhil Bhavnani & Natalia T. Tamirisa & Arvind Subramanian & David T. Coe, 2002. "The Missing Globalization Puzzle," IMF Working Papers 02/171, International Monetary Fund.
  23. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72.
  24. Rozanski, Jerzy & Yeats, Alexander, 1994. "On the (in)accuracy of economic observations: An assessment of trends in the reliability of international trade statistics," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 103-130, June.
  25. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  26. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
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