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Per-capita incomes and the extensive margin of bilateral trade

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  • Christian Hepenstrick

Abstract

This paper argues that the per-capita income of importers is an important determinant of the extensive margin of trade. I formalize this by incorporating preferences that allow for binding nonnegativity constraints into an otherwise standard Ricardian model. This implies that agents adjust the set of goods from which they consume with income, which in turn affects the extensive margin of bilateral trade. I quantify the model using data on US consumer behavior and aggregate values of bilateral trade flows. I find that the behavior of the model’s extensive margin of bilateral trade is consistent with elasticities measured in the data. Two counterfactual experiments demonstrate the quantitative importance of the mechanism outlined in this paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Hepenstrick, 2010. "Per-capita incomes and the extensive margin of bilateral trade," IEW - Working Papers 519, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:519
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    Cited by:

    1. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2012. "Globalization and individual gains from trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 703-720.
    2. repec:oup:restud:v:85:y:2018:i:1:p:475-510. is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Christian Hepenstrick & Alexander Tarasov, 2015. "Trade Openness and Cross-country Income Differences," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 271-302, May.
    4. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
    5. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    6. Maria Masood, 2015. "New Evidence on Development and the Diversity of Cultural Imports," Research Papers by the Institute of Economics and Econometrics, Geneva School of Economics and Management, University of Geneva 15012, Institut d'Economie et Econométrie, Université de Genève.
    7. Reto Foellmi & Christian Hepenstrick & Zweimüller Josef, 2018. "International Arbitrage and the Extensive Margin of Trade between Rich and Poor Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 85(1), pages 475-510.
    8. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2012. "Globalization and Individual Gains from Trade (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1218, CIRPEE.
    9. repec:lmu:muenec:15421 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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