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Using the New Products Margin to Predict the Industry-Level Impact of Trade Reform


  • Timothy J. Kehoe
  • Jack M. Rossbach
  • Kim J. Ruhl


This paper develops a methodology for predicting the impact of trade liberalization on exports by industry (3-digit ISIC) based on the pre-liberalization distribution of exports by product (5-digit SITC). Using the results of Kehoe and Ruhl (2013) that much of the growth in trade after trade liberalization is in products that are traded very little or not at all, we predict that industries with a higher share of exports generated by least traded products will experience more growth. Using our methodology, we develop predictions for industry-level changes in trade for the United States and Korea following the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS). As a test for our methodology, we show that it performs significantly better than the applied general equilibrium models originally used for the policy evaluation of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).

Suggested Citation

  • Timothy J. Kehoe & Jack M. Rossbach & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "Using the New Products Margin to Predict the Industry-Level Impact of Trade Reform," NBER Working Papers 19692, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19692
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    2. Simonovska, Ina & Waugh, Michael E., 2014. "The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 34-50.
    3. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358-392.
    4. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry & Ries, John, 2010. "The erosion of colonial trade linkages after independence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, May.
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    7. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 12, pages 393-424 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Horacio E. Sobarzo, 1992. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of the Gains from Trade for the Mexican Economy of a North American Free Trade Agreement," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 83-100, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. repec:eee:ecmode:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:365-383 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Scott L. Baier & Yoto V. Yotov & Thomas Zylkin, 2016. "On the Widely Differing Effects of Free Trade Agreements: Lessons from Twenty Years of Trade Integration," CESifo Working Paper Series 6174, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation


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