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WTO Membership and the Extensive Margin of World Trade: New Evidence

  • Wilhelm Kohler
  • Gabriel Felbermayr

Recent literature has argued that, contrary to the results of a seminal paper by Rose (2004), WTO membership does promote bilateral trade, at least for developed economies and if membership includes non-formal compliance. We review the literature in order to identify open issues. We then develop the simplest possible “corner-solutions" version of the gravity model which serves as a framework to readdress these issues. We focus on the extensive margin of trade that separates positive-trade from zero-trade country pairs. We argue that the model can be consistently estimated using Poisson pseudo-maximum-likelihood methods with exporter and importer fixed effects. We account for coding issues and the potential heterogeneity of the WTO membership which recent contributions have stressed. While we find that WTO membership increases the likelihood that a given country pair trades, we do not find that the extensive margin has a strong and systematic effect on the average trade-creating potential of the WTO.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 09/06.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:09/06
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  1. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  2. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Andrew K. Rose, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Reply," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2019-2025, December.
  4. Rose, Andrew K, 2003. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3764, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Joao Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEP Discussion Papers dp0701, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
  10. Bogdan Lissovolik & Yaroslav Lissovolik, 2006. "Russia and the WTO: The "Gravity" of Outsider Status," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(1), pages 1.
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  13. Deardorff, A.V., 1995. "Determinants of Bilateral Trade : Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?," Papers 95-05, Michigan - Center for Research on Economic & Social Theory.
  14. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, June.
  15. Andrew K. Rose, 2002. "Do WTO Members have More Liberal Trade Policy?," NBER Working Papers 9347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Richard Baldwin & Daria Taglioni, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," NBER Working Papers 12516, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
  18. Theo S. Eicher & Christian Henn, 2008. "In Search of WTO Trade Effects: Preferential Trade Agreements Promote Trade Strongly, But Unevenly," Working Papers UWEC-2008-22-FC, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
  19. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  20. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2006. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 142(4), pages 642-674, December.
  21. 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.
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  24. repec:inr:wpaper:21709 is not listed on IDEAS
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