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Trade Costs and the Composition of Developing Countries’ Exports

Listed author(s):
  • Salamat Ali
  • Chris Milner

This study investigates how trade costs fashion the export composition of the developing countries. It uses the World Bank’s bilateral trade cost dataset and incorporates trade flows of a large set of developing countries. We exploit the variation in trade costs across countries and the differences in trade cost sensitivity across industries in the identification strategy. Moreover, we employ a set of cost shifters as instruments to overcome the endogeneity of trade costs. The paper finds that high trade cost countries gain a relatively lower export share overall compared to lower trade cost countries, and importantly that the share of exports declines more for more trade cost sensitive exports. The policy implications are clear: reducing trade costs would both increase the manufactured exports of developing economies and alter the composition of these exports.

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File URL: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/documents/papers/2015/2015-13.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, GEP in its series Discussion Papers with number 2015-13.

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Date of creation: 2015
Handle: RePEc:not:notgep:15/13
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School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD

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Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/gep/index.aspx

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  1. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth Rogoff, 2001. "The Six Major Puzzles in International Macroeconomics: Is There a Common Cause?," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 339-412 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  12. McCallum, John, 1995. "National Borders Matter: Canada-U.S. Regional Trade Patterns," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(3), pages 615-623, June.
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  14. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2007. "Interacting factor endowments and trade costs: A multi-country, multi-good approach to trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 333-354, November.
  15. CHRIS MILNER & DANNY McGOWAN, 2013. "Trade Costs And Trade Composition," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 51(3), pages 1886-1902, July.
  16. 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.
  17. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-1046, December.
  18. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
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