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Bilateral Trade Imbalances

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  • Robert Zymek

    (University of Edinburgh)

Abstract

In standard quantitative models, bilateral trade imbalances are determined by aggregate trade imbalances, expenditure and production patterns, and trade wedges. We calibrate such a model using recent data on incomes, factor endowments, and sector-level expenditures, outputs and bilateral trade flows for 40 economies and the rest of the world. Large pairwise asymmetries in trade wedges are needed for the model’s bilateral-trade predictions to match the data. They account for 21-35% of the standard deviation of bilateral trade imbalances. Aggregate imbalances play a minor role, while more than 50% of the variation is explained by international differences in production and expenditure patterns.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert Zymek, 2018. "Bilateral Trade Imbalances," 2018 Meeting Papers 1117, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  • Handle: RePEc:red:sed018:1117
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Yotov, Yoto V., 2021. "From theory to policy with gravitas: A solution to the mystery of the excess trade balances," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    2. Virginia Di Nino & Anna Ekstam, 2020. "What value added in the trade balances of euro area financial centres?," IFC Bulletins chapters, in: Bank for International Settlements (ed.), Bridging measurement challenges and analytical needs of external statistics: evolution or revolution?, volume 52, Bank for International Settlements.
    3. Carrère, Céline & Mrázová, Monika & Neary, J Peter, 2020. "Gravity without Apologies: The Science of Elasticities, Distance, and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 14473, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Céline Carrère & Monika Mrázová & J Peter Neary, 2020. "Gravity Without Apology: the Science of Elasticities, Distance and Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 130(628), pages 880-910.
    5. Klaus Weyerstrass, 2019. "Trade Deficit with China – an Issue for the Euro Area?," EconPol Policy Brief 20, ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of Munich.
    6. Mariarosaria Comunale & Justas Dainauskas & Povilas Lastauskas, 2021. "What explains excess trade persistence? A theory of habits in the supply chains," CAMA Working Papers 2021-11, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F20 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - General
    • F32 - International Economics - - International Finance - - - Current Account Adjustment; Short-term Capital Movements
    • F40 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - General
    • F62 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Macroeconomic Impacts

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