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Bilateralism and Regionalism in Japanese and U.S. Trade and Direct Foreign Investment Patterns

  • Jonathan Eaton
  • Akiko Tamura

We apply a modified 'gravity model' incorporating measures of factor endowments to analyze Japanese and U.S. bilateral trade flows and direct foreign investment positions with a sample of around 100 countries for the period 1985-1990. Country features that our analysis takes into account are population, income, the land-labor ratio, the average level of education, and region. We find that features of a country associated with more trade with either Japan or the United States also tend to be associated with more DFI from Japan or the United States. U.S. economic relations with Japan and Western Europe provide an important exception. Despite U.S. concern about its trade deficit with Japan, we find Japan to be much more open to the United States, not only as a source of imports, but also as a destination for U.S. exports than most countries in Western Europe. Taking other factors into account, however, Western Europe is more open to U.S. direct foreign investment. We also find that a country's level of education tends to increase significantly U.S. interaction of all types with that country, even after correcting for per capita income. Education does not play a significant role in Japanese trade patterns. As factor endowments theory would predict, the United States tends to trade more with densely-populated countries, while Japan tends to import more from sparsely-populated countries. There is a substantial degree of 'bilateralism' in Japanese and U.S. economic relationships in that the residual correlation among exports, imports, and outward direct foreign investment is much larger than would be the case if these magnitudes were independent across countries.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4758.

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Date of creation: Mar 1995
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Publication status: published as Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, vol. 8, no. 4, December 1994, pp. 478-510.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4758
Note: ITI
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  1. Jeffrey A. Frankel & Shang-Jin Wei, 1993. "Emerging Currency Blocs," NBER Working Papers 4335, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Harrigan, James, 1996. "Openness to trade in manufactures in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 23-39, February.
  3. Drysdale, Peter & Garnaut, Ross, 1982. "Trade Intensities and the Analysis of Bilateral Trade Flows in a Many-Country World : A Survey," Hitotsubashi Journal of Economics, Hitotsubashi University, vol. 22(2), pages 62-84, February.
  4. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1993. "Japan's Different Trade Regime: An Analysis with Particular Reference to Seiretsu," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 3-19, Summer.
  5. Saxonhouse, G.R., 1993. "What Does Japanese Trade Structure Tell Us about Japanese Trade Policy?," Working Papers 337, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
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  8. Leamer, Edward E, 1974. "The Commodity Composition of International Trade in Manufactures: An Empirical Analysis," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 26(3), pages 350-74, November.
  9. Helpman, Elhanan, 1984. "A Simple Theory of International Trade with Multinational Corporations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 92(3), pages 451-71, June.
  10. White, Halbert, 1982. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation of Misspecified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(1), pages 1-25, January.
  11. S. Lael Brainard, 1993. "An Empirical Assessment of the Proximity-Concentration Tradeoff between Multinational Sales and Trade," NBER Working Papers 4580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Robert Z. Lawrence, 1991. "How Open is Japan?," NBER Chapters, in: Trade with Japan: Has the Door Opened Wider?, pages 9-50 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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