IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/15557.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Distance, Trade, and Income - The 1967 to 1975 Closing of the Suez Canal as a Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • James Feyrer

Abstract

The negative effect of distance on bilateral trade is one of the most robust findings in international trade. However, the underlying causes of this negative relationship are less well understood. This paper exploits a temporary shock to distance, the closing of the Suez canal in 1967 and its reopening in 1975, to examine the effect of distance on trade and the effect of trade on income. Time series variation in sea distance allows for the inclusion of pair effects which account for static differences in tastes and culture between countries. The distance effects estimated in this paper are therefore more clearly about transportation costs in the trade of goods than typical gravity model estimates. Distance is found to have a significant impact on trade with an elasticity that is about half as large as estimates from typical cross sectional estimates. Since the shock to trade is exogenous for most countries, predicted trade volume from the shock can be used to identify the effect of trade on income. Trade is found to have a significant impact on income. The time series dimension allows for country fixed effects which control for all long run income differences. Because identification is through changes in sea distance, the effect is coming entirely through trade in goods and not through alternative channels such as technology transfer, tourism, or foreign direct investment.

Suggested Citation

  • James Feyrer, 2009. "Distance, Trade, and Income - The 1967 to 1975 Closing of the Suez Canal as a Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 15557, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15557
    Note: EFG ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w15557.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    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. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
    4. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    6. Mayer, Thierry & Zignago, Soledad, 2006. "Notes on CEPII’s distances measures," MPRA Paper 26469, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    7. James Feyrer, 2019. "Trade and Income—Exploiting Time Series in Geography," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 1-35, October.
    8. Blum, Bernardo S. & Goldfarb, Avi, 2006. "Does the internet defy the law of gravity?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 384-405, December.
    9. Souleymane Coulibaly & Lionel Fontagné, 2006. "South--South Trade: Geography Matters," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(2), pages 313-341, June.
    10. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    11. Reuven Glick & Alan M. Taylor, 2010. "Collateral Damage: Trade Disruption and the Economic Impact of War," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 92(1), pages 102-127, February.
    12. Douglas Staiger & James H. Stock, 1997. "Instrumental Variables Regression with Weak Instruments," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(3), pages 557-586, May.
    13. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-398, March.
    14. Johnson, Simon & Larson, William & Papageorgiou, Chris & Subramanian, Arvind, 2013. "Is newer better? Penn World Table Revisions and their impact on growth estimates," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(2), pages 255-274.
    15. Dave Donaldson, 2015. "The Gains from Market Integration," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 7(1), pages 619-647, August.
    16. Irwin, Douglas A. & Tervio, Marko, 2002. "Does trade raise income?: Evidence from the twentieth century," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-18, October.
    17. Anne-Célia Disdier & Keith Head, 2008. "The Puzzling Persistence of the Distance Effect on Bilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(1), pages 37-48, February.
    18. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
    19. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1998. "The Regionalization of the World Economy," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number fran98-1, January.
    20. Francisco Rodríguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    22. Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    23. Thierry Mayer & Keith Head, 2002. "Illusory Border Effects: Distance Mismeasurement Inflates Estimates of Home Bias in Trade," Working Papers 2002-01, CEPII research center.
    24. Dollar, David, 1992. "Outward-Oriented Developing Economies Really Do Grow More Rapidly: Evidence from 95 LDCs, 1976-1985," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 40(3), pages 523-544, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James Feyrer, 2019. "Trade and Income—Exploiting Time Series in Geography," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 11(4), pages 1-35, October.
    2. Jasmin Katrin Gröschl, 2013. "Gravity Model Applications and Macroeconomic Perspectives," ifo Beiträge zur Wirtschaftsforschung, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich, number 48.
    3. Badinger, Harald, 2008. "Trade policy and productivity," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(5), pages 867-891, July.
    4. Anderson, James E. & Borchert, Ingo & Mattoo, Aaditya & Yotov, Yoto V., 2018. "Dark costs, missing data: Shedding some light on services trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 193-214.
    5. Dibyendu Maiti & Sugata Marjit, 2015. "Regional Openness, Income Growth and Disparity during 1980–2009," South Asia Economic Journal, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka, vol. 16(1), pages 145-166, March.
    6. Yoto V. Yotov, 2021. "The Variation of Gravity within Countries (or 15 Reasons Why Gravity Should Be Estimated with Domestic Trade Flows)," CESifo Working Paper Series 9057, CESifo.
    7. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Gröschl, Jasmin, 2013. "Natural disasters and the effect of trade on income: A new panel IV approach," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 18-30.
    8. Anderson, James E. & Yotov, Yoto V., 2020. "Short run gravity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 126(C).
    9. Capolupo, Rosa, 2009. "The New Growth Theories and Their Empirics after Twenty Years," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal (2007-2020), Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW Kiel), vol. 3, pages 1-72.
    10. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Yotov, Yoto V., 2021. "From theory to policy with gravitas: A solution to the mystery of the excess trade balances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    11. Delgadillo Chavarria, Carlos Bruno, 2019. "El Efecto de la Mediterraneidad sobre el Flujo Comercial Internacional: Evidencia Empírica Internacional y para América del Sur (1990-2016) [The Effect of Landlocked Country Status on International," MPRA Paper 96294, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Sep 2019.
    12. Liu, Dan & Meissner, Christopher M., 2015. "Market potential and the rise of US productivity leadership," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(1), pages 72-87.
    13. Kleinman, Benny & Liu, Ernest & Redding, Stephen, 2020. "International friends and enemies," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 108480, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    14. Garfinkel, Michelle R. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Yotov, Yoto V., 2020. "Arming in the global economy: The importance of trade with enemies and friends," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 123(C).
    15. Delgadillo Chavarria, Carlos Bruno, 2019. "El Efecto de la Mediterraneidad sobre el Flujo Comercial Internacional: Evidencia Empírica Internacional y para América del Sur (1990-2016) [The Effect of Landlocked Country Status on International," MPRA Paper 96093, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 10 Sep 2019.
    16. Piermartini, Roberta & Yotov, Yoto V., 2016. "Estimating trade policy effects with structural gravity," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2016-10, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    17. Hexian Wang & Wei Liu & Mengyuan Zhu & Qing Wang, 2018. "Embrace or Not? An Empirical Study of the Impact of Globalization on the Country’s Sustainability in the Case of NAFTA," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 10(10), pages 1-16, September.
    18. Lin, Faqin & Sim, Nicholas C.S., 2013. "Trade, income and the Baltic Dry Index," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 1-18.
    19. Tarlok Singh, 2010. "Does International Trade Cause Economic Growth? A Survey," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(11), pages 1517-1564, November.
    20. Yoto V. Yotov, 2022. "On the role of domestic trade flows for estimating the gravity model of trade," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 40(3), pages 526-540, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F43 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Economic Growth of Open Economies
    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • O47 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Empirical Studies of Economic Growth; Aggregate Productivity; Cross-Country Output Convergence

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15557. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.