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

Listed author(s):
  • 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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File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2009/09-06.pdf
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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. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
  2. Rose, Andrew K, 2002. "Do We Really Know that the WTO Increases Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 3538, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Xuepeng Liu, 2009. "GATT/WTO Promotes Trade Strongly: Sample Selection and Model Specification," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 17(3), pages 428-446, 08.
  4. 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.
  5. Andrew Rose, 2005. "Which International Institutions Promote International Trade?," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(4), pages 682-698, 09.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Chang, Pao-Li & Lee, Myoung-Jae, 2011. "The WTO trade effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 53-71, September.
  9. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Baldwin, Richard & Taglioni, Daria, 2006. "Gravity for Dummies and Dummies for Gravity Equations," CEPR Discussion Papers 5850, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. 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.
  12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
  14. Gabriel J Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2014. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: European Economic Integration, WTO Membership, Immigration and Offshoring, chapter 4, pages 115-148 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  15. Baltagi, Badi H. & Egger, Peter & Pfaffermayr, Michael, 2003. "A generalized design for bilateral trade flow models," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 80(3), pages 391-397, September.
  16. 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.
  17. Ghosh, Sucharita & Yamarik, Steven, 2004. "Are regional trading arrangements trade creating?: An application of extreme bounds analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 369-395, July.
  18. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
  19. Michael Tomz & Judith L. Goldstein & Douglas Rivers, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2005-2018, December.
  20. 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.
  21. Heckman, James, 2013. "Sample selection bias as a specification error," Applied Econometrics, Publishing House "SINERGIA PRESS", vol. 31(3), pages 129-137.
  22. Bogdan Lissovolik & Yaroslav Lissovolik, 2006. "Russia and the WTO: The "Gravity" of Outsider Status," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 53(1), pages 1-1.
  23. 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.
  24. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Wilhelm Kohler, 2006. "Exploring the Intensive and Extensive Margins of World Trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(4), pages 642-674, December.
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