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Nonparametric Counterfactual Predictions in Neoclassical Models of International Trade

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  • Rodrigo Adao
  • Arnaud Costinot
  • Dave Donaldson

Abstract

We develop a methodology to construct nonparametric counterfactual predictions, free of functional-form restrictions on preferences and technology, in neoclassical models of international trade. First, we establish the equivalence between such models and reduced exchange models in which countries directly exchange factor services. This equivalence implies that, for an arbitrary change in trade costs, counterfactual changes in the factor content of trade, factor prices, and welfare only depend on the shape of a reduced factor demand system. Second, we provide sufficient conditions under which estimates of this system can be recovered nonparametrically. Together, these results offer a strict generalization of the parametric approach used in so-called gravity models. Finally, we use China's recent integration into the world economy to illustrate the feasibility and potential benefits of our approach.

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  • Rodrigo Adao & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson, 2015. "Nonparametric Counterfactual Predictions in Neoclassical Models of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 21401, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21401
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F17 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Forecasting and Simulation

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