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Estimating the Effects of Non-discriminatory Trade Policies within Structural Gravity Models


  • Heid, Benedikt

    () (University of Adelaide)

  • Larch, Mario

    () (University of Bayreuth)

  • Yotov, Yoto

    () (Drexel University)


We propose a simple method to identify the effects of unilateral and non-discriminatory trade policies on bilateral trade within a theoretically-consistent empirical gravity model. Specifically, we argue that structural gravity estimations should be performed with data that include not only international trade flows but also intra-national trade flows. The use of intra-national sales allows identification of the effects of non-discriminatory trade policies on the importer side (e.g. most favored nation tariffs) and on the exporter side (e.g. export subsidies), even in the presence of exporter and importer fixed effects. An important byproduct of our approach is that it can be used to recover estimates of the export-supply elasticity and of the import-demand elasticity. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our techniques in the case of MFN tariffs and "Time to Export" as representative determinants of trade on the importer and on the exporter side, respectively. Our methods can be extended to quantify the impact on trade of any country-specific characteristics as well as any non-trade policies.

Suggested Citation

  • Heid, Benedikt & Larch, Mario & Yotov, Yoto, 2017. "Estimating the Effects of Non-discriminatory Trade Policies within Structural Gravity Models," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2017-10, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ris:drxlwp:2017_010

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    Cited by:

    1. Larch, Mario & Wanner, Joschka & Yotov, Yoto V., 2018. "Bi- and Unilateral trade effects of joining the Euro," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 171(C), pages 230-234.
    2. Harald Oberhofer & Michael Pfaffermayr & Richard Sellner, 2018. "Revisiting Time as a Trade Barrier: Evidence from a Panel Structural Gravity Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 7426, CESifo Group Munich.
    3. Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan, Arevik & Henn, Christian, 2018. "Peeling away the layers: Impacts of durable tariff elimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 259-276.
    4. Luisa Kinzius & Alexander-Nikolai Sandkamp & Erdal Yalcin, 2018. "Trade Protection and the Role of Non-Tariff Barriers," CESifo Working Paper Series 7419, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Scott L. Baier & Amanda Kerr & Yoto V. Yotov, 2018. "Gravity, distance, and international trade," Chapters, in: Bruce A. Blonigen & Wesley W. Wilson (ed.), Handbook of International Trade and Transportation, chapter 2, pages 15-78, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    6. Anderson, James E. & Borchert, Ingo & Mattoo, Aaditya & Yotov, Yoto V., 2018. "Dark costs, missing data: Shedding some light on services trade," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 193-214.
    7. Piermartini, Roberta & Yotov, Yoto, 2016. "Estimating Trade Policy Effects with Structural Gravity," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-10, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    8. Roberta Piermartini & Yoto V. Yotov, 2016. "Estimating Trade Policy Effects with Structural Gravity," CESifo Working Paper Series 6009, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Herman, Peter & Ahmed, Lesley, 2018. "Do Canadian Wheat Grades Weight Down Trade? A Gravity Analysis," 2018 Annual Meeting, August 5-7, Washington, D.C. 274274, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    10. Mario Larch & Aiko F. Schmei├čer & Joschka Wanner, 2019. "A Tale of (Almost) 1001 Coefficients: Deep and Heterogeneous Effects of the EU-Turkey Customs Union," CESifo Working Paper Series 7498, CESifo Group Munich.
    11. Federico Carril-Caccia & Juliette Milgram Baleix & Jordi Paniagua, 2019. "Does Terrorism Affect Foreign Direct Investment?," Working Papers 1913, Department of Applied Economics II, Universidad de Valencia.
    12. Frank, Jonas, 2018. "The effects of economic sanctions on trade: New evidence from a panel PPML gravity approach," Hohenheim Discussion Papers in Business, Economics and Social Sciences 17-2018, University of Hohenheim, Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences.
    13. Cosimo Beverelli & Alexander Keck & Mario Larch & Yoto V. Yotov, 2018. "Institutions, Trade and Development: A Quantitative Analysis," CESifo Working Paper Series 6920, CESifo Group Munich.

    More about this item


    Gravity Model; Non-discriminatory Trade Policies; Tariffs; Subsidies; Time to Export; Trade Elasticity of Substitution;

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F47 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications

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