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Per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade

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  • Hepenstrick, Christian
  • Tarasov, Alexander

Abstract

This paper quantitatively explores the role of the demand structure in explaining the relationship between an importer's per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade. The underlying mechanism is based on the fact that agents expand the set of goods they consume with income. This in turn affects the structure of a country's import demand and therewith the extensive margin of trade. We formalize this intuition by incorporating preferences that allow for binding non-negativity constraints into an otherwise standard Ricardian multi-country model. We quantify the model using the data on US consumer expenditures and aggregate values of bilateral trade flows and find that the behavior of the model's extensive margin of bilateral trade is consistent with the data (as opposed to the standard model). Two popular counterfactual experiments - lower trade costs and the rise of China and India - demonstrate that the mechanism outlined in this paper is indeed quantitatively important.

Suggested Citation

  • Hepenstrick, Christian & Tarasov, Alexander, 2012. "Per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade," Discussion Papers in Economics 14231, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenec:14231
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    Cited by:

    1. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2012. "Globalization and individual gains from trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 703-720.
    2. Reto Foellmi & Christian Hepenstrick & Zweimüller Josef, 2018. "International Arbitrage and the Extensive Margin of Trade between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 475-510.
    3. Christian Hepenstrick & Alexander Tarasov, 2015. "Trade Openness and Cross-country Income Differences," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 271-302, May.
    4. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
    5. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Alexander Osharin & Valery Verbus, 2018. "Heterogeneity of consumer preferences and trade patterns in a monopolistically competitive setting," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 125(3), pages 211-237, November.
    7. Masood, Maria, 2019. "New evidence on income and the geographical distribution of imports: The case of audiovisuals," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 717-734.
    8. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2012. "Globalization and Individual Gains from Trade (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1218, CIRPEE.
    9. repec:lmu:muenec:15421 is not listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Non-homothetic preferences; extensive margin; Ricardian trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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