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Trade liberalisation, adoption costs, and import margins in CEEC and OECD trade


  • Richard Frensch

    () (Osteuropa-Institut, Regensburg (Institut for East European Studies))


Within a standard gravity framework I explore the impact of country size and trade liberalisation on extensive and intensive margins of imports across broad categories of goods. This allows testing hypotheses from two distinct strands of the trade literature, i.e., vertical integration versus trade in technology goods. First, there is evidence in favour of a unilateral complement to Yi’s (2003) claim that vertical integration magnifies the trade effect of multilateral trade liberalisation: I find a substantially stronger than average impact of unilateral trade liberalisation on imports of vertically integrated intermediate goods along both extensive and intensive margins. On the contrary, I find no evidence in favour of Romer’s (1994) hypothesis of fixed costs of technology adoption when the state of technology is operationalised as the variety of capital goods. Results are robust to the measurement of trade liberalisation, to extending the product space allowing for national product differentiation, to sample composition, and to varying the gravity framework according to Baldwin and Taglioni (2006).

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Frensch, 2008. "Trade liberalisation, adoption costs, and import margins in CEEC and OECD trade," Working Papers 269, Leibniz Institut für Ost- und Südosteuropaforschung (Institute for East and Southeast European Studies).
  • Handle: RePEc:ost:wpaper:269

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Echazu, Luciana, 2009. "Product differentiation, firm heterogeneity and international trade: Exploring the Alchian-Allen effect," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 95-101, June.
    2. Peter McQuade, 2010. "The Evolution of International Trade on the Extensive and Intensive Margins," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp325, IIIS, revised Apr 2010.
    3. Frensch, Richard & Gaucaite Wittich, Vitalija, 2009. "Product variety and technical change," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(2), pages 242-257, March.

    More about this item


    Gravity; product variety; vertical integration; technology adoption;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes


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