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Estimating The Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade

  • Daniel Bernhofen
  • Zouheir El-Sahli
  • Richard Kneller

We quantify the effects of the container revolution on a large panel of product level trade flows during 1962-1990. We exploit time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ first adoption of container facilities to construct a time-varying bilateral container technology variable and estimate its effects on trade in the panel. On North-North trade, the cumulative average treatment effects of containerization over a 20 year time period amount to about 700%, can be interpreted as causal and are larger than the standard policy liberalization variables. In a nutshell, we provide the first econometric evidence for containerization to be a driver of 20th century economic globalization.

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File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2013/2013-02.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 2013-02.

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Date of creation: 2013
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Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:13/02
Contact details of provider: Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
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Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/index.aspx

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  1. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  2. 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.
  3. Ximena Clark & David Dollar & Alejandro Micco, 2004. "Port Efficiency, Maritime Transport Costs and Bilateral Trade," NBER Working Papers 10353, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
  5. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson, 2008. "Port Efficiency and Trade Flows," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(1), pages 21-36, 02.
  7. Theo Notteboom & Jean-Paul Rodrigue, 2008. "Containerisation, Box Logistics and Global Supply Chains: The Integration of Ports and Liner Shipping Networks," Maritime Economics and Logistics, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 10(1-2), pages 152-174, March.
  8. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
  9. Mokyr, Joel, 1992. "The Lever of Riches: Technological Creativity and Economic Progress," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780195074772, March.
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