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Trade costs, barriers to entry, and export diversification in developing countries

  • Dennis, Allen
  • Shepherd, Ben

This paper finds that a 1 percent reduction in the cost of exporting or the cost of international transport is associated with an export diversification gain of 0.3 percent or 0.4 percent respectively. Lower domestic market entry costs can also promote diversification, but the elasticity is weaker (-0.1). To obtain these results, the authors construct new measures of export diversification for 118 developing countries using highly detailed 8-digit mirror data from the European Union. The analysis also incorporates new export cost data from the World Bank's Doing Business database, covering document preparation, inland transport, administrative fees, and port/customs charges. Findings are highly robust, including to the use of geography and colonial history as instruments for trade and entry costs. Both the signs and relative magnitudes of these effects are consistent with predictions from a heterogeneous firms model of trade with asymmetric costs.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4368.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2007
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4368
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  1. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
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  15. Santos Silva, J.M.C & Tenreyro, Silvana, 2005. "The Log of Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 5311, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Amin Gutierrez de Pineres, Sheila & Ferrantino, Michael, 1997. "Export diversification and structural dynamics in the growth process: The case of Chile," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 375-391, April.
  17. Jerry A. Hausman & Bronwyn H. Hall & Zvi Griliches, 1984. "Econometric Models for Count Data with an Application to the Patents-R&D Relationship," NBER Technical Working Papers 0017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Simeon Djankov & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andre Shleifer, 2000. "The Regulation of Entry," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1904, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  19. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
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  28. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  29. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  30. John S. Wilson & Catherine L. Mann & Tsunehiro Otsuki, 2005. "Assessing the Benefits of Trade Facilitation: A Global Perspective," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(6), pages 841-871, 06.
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