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Trade and Interdependence in a Spatially Complex World


  • Michal Fabinger

    (Pennsylvania State University)


This paper presents an analytic solution framework applicable to a wide variety of general equilibrium international trade models, including those of Krugman (1980), Eaton and Kortum (2002), Anderson and van Wincoop (2003), and Melitz (2003), in multi-location cases. For asymptotically power-law trade costs and in the large-space limit, it is shown that there are parameter thresholds where the qualitative behavior of the model economy changes. In the case of the Krugman (1980) model, the relevant parameter is closely related to the elasticity of substitution between different varieties of goods. The geographic reach of economic shocks changes fundamentally when the elasticity crosses a critical threshold: below this point shocks are felt even at long distances, while above it they remain local. The value of the threshold depends on the approximate dimensionality of the spatial configuration. This paper bridges the gap between empirical work on international and intranational trade, which frequently uses data sets involving large numbers of locations, and the theoretical literature, which has analytically examined solutions to the relevant models with realistic trade costs only for the case of very few locations.

Suggested Citation

  • Michal Fabinger, 2013. "Trade and Interdependence in a Spatially Complex World," 2013 Meeting Papers 874, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:874

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bak, Per & Chen, Kan & Scheinkman, Jose & Woodford, Michael, 1993. "Aggregate fluctuations from independent sectoral shocks: self-organized criticality in a model of production and inventory dynamics," Ricerche Economiche, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 3-30, March.
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    7. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
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    12. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "Geography of the World Economy," Discussion Papers 1239, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    13. 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.
    14. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2008. "Trade responses to geographic frictions: A decomposition using micro-data," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 527-550, April.
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    Cited by:

    1. Juyoung Cheong & Shino Takayama & Terence Yeo, 2013. "Preferential Trade Agreements and Welfare: General Equilibrium Analysis," Discussion Papers Series 482, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.
    2. Treb Allen & Costas Arkolakis, 2014. "Trade and the Topography of the Spatial Economy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 129(3), pages 1085-1140.
    3. Juyoung Cheong & Shino Takayama, 2013. "Who Gains the Most in Preferential Trade Agreements?," Discussion Papers Series 475, School of Economics, University of Queensland, Australia.

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