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Robustness of the Extensive Margin in the Helpman, Melitz and Rubinstein (HMR) Model


  • Maxim, Belenkiy


The HMR model extends the classical gravity model of trade to correct for the large number of zeros in the world trade matrix (export selection) and for the unobservable fraction of exporting fi�rms (extensive margin). They �find that, while omission of both of these corrections result in the biased estimates of the gravity model, the extensive margin correction is the most signi�ficant of the two when estimating the trade flows. I test the robustness of this conclusion by splitting the world trade data into OECD and non-OECD countries. The extensive margin should be both economically and statistically more signi�ficant for the OECD exporters, while export selection should play a larger in the trade flows for the non-OECD exporters. I �find that the extensive margin is not signi�ficant for the OECD trade flows, but the export selection is important regardless of the exporter location. These �ndings call into question the conclusions of the HMR model. I posit and test possible hypothesis to explain them.

Suggested Citation

  • Maxim, Belenkiy, 2008. "Robustness of the Extensive Margin in the Helpman, Melitz and Rubinstein (HMR) Model," MPRA Paper 17913, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised Feb 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:17913

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Elhanan Helpman, 1999. "The Structure of Foreign Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 13(2), pages 121-144, Spring.
    2. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    4. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    5. 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.
    6. Andrew K. Rose, 2000. "One money, one market: the effect of common currencies on trade," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 15(30), pages 7-46, April.
    7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    8. Svetlana Demidova, 2008. "Productivity Improvements And Falling Trade Costs: Boon Or Bane?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1437-1462, November.
    9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    10. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Munasib, Abdul B.A. & Roy, Devesh, 2011. "Nontariff Barriers as Bridge to Cross," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 125025, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Munasib, Abdul & Roy, Devesh, 2011. "Sanitary and phytosanitary standards as bridge to cross:," IFPRI discussion papers 1140, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    3. Marco Fugazza, 2013. "The Economics Behind Non-Tariff Measures: Theoretical Insights And Empirical Evidence," UNCTAD Blue Series Papers 57, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.
    4. Olayinka Idowu Kareem, 2014. "The European Union Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures and Africa’s Exports," RSCAS Working Papers 2014/98, European University Institute.

    More about this item


    trade flows; trade frictions; asymmetries; gravity model; estimation;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade


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