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The Gravitational Constant?

Author

Listed:
  • David S. Jacks

    ()

  • Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke

    ()

  • Alan M. Taylor

    () (Division of Social Science)

Abstract

We introduce a new dataset on British exports at the bilateral, commodity-level from 1700 to 1899. We then pit two primary determinants of bilateral trade against one another: the trade-diminishing effects of distance versus the trade-enhancing effects of the British Empire. We find that gravity exerted its pull as early as 1700, but the distance effect then attenuated and had almost vanished by 1800. Meanwhile the empire effect peaked sometime in the late 18th century before significantly declining in magnitude. It was only after 1950 that distance would once again exert the same influence that it has today. JEL codes: F1, N7

Suggested Citation

  • David S. Jacks & Kevin Hjortshøj O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor, 2020. "The Gravitational Constant?," Working Papers 20200055, New York University Abu Dhabi, Department of Social Science, revised Oct 2020.
  • Handle: RePEc:nad:wpaper:20200055
    as

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    File URL: https://nyuad.nyu.edu/content/dam/nyuad/academics/divisions/social-science/working-papers/2020/0055.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Jacks, David S. & Novy, Dennis, 2018. "Market Potential and Global Growth over the Long Twentieth Century," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 221-237.
    2. 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.
    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 474-481, August.
    4. Michel Fouquin & Jules Hugot, 2016. "Back to the Future: International Trade Costs and the Two Globalizations," Vniversitas Económica 015130, Universidad Javeriana - Bogotá.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • N7 - Economic History - - Economic History: Transport, International and Domestic Trade, Energy, and Other Services

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