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Trade and Interdependence in a Spatially Complex World

  • Michal Fabinger

    (Pennsylvania State University)

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    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.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2013/paper_874.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 874.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:874
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
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    1. Elhanan Helpman & Paul Krugman, 1987. "Market Structure and Foreign Trade: Increasing Returns, Imperfect Competition, and the International Economy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026258087x, June.
    2. Kristian Behrens & Cem Ertur & Wilfried Koch, 2012. "‘Dual’ Gravity: Using Spatial Econometrics To Control For Multilateral Resistance," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 773-794, 08.
    3. 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.
    4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "Geography of the World Economy," Discussion Papers 1239, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    5. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "A Spatial Theory of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(5), pages 1464-1491, December.
    6. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    7. Yuriy Gorodnichenko & Linda L. Tesar, 2009. "Border Effect or Country Effect? Seattle May Not Be So Far from Vancouver After All," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(1), pages 219-41, January.
    8. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1994. "Industrial Location and Public Infrastructure," CEPR Discussion Papers 909, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Alvarez, Fernando & Lucas, Robert Jr., 2007. "General equilibrium analysis of the Eaton-Kortum model of international trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1726-1768, September.
    10. John Romalis, 2004. "Factor Proportions and the Structure of Commodity Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 67-97, March.
    11. 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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