Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws?

58 Pages Posted: 20 Dec 2001 Last revised: 25 Oct 2010

See all articles by James Harrigan

James Harrigan

University of Virginia - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2001

Abstract

The core subjects of trade theory are the pattern and volume of trade: which goods are traded by which countries, and how much of those goods are traded. The first part of the paper discusses evidence on comparative advantage, with an emphasis on carefully connecting theory models to data analyses. The second part of the chapter first considers the theoretical foundations of the gravity model, and then reviews the small number of papers that have tried to test, rather than simply use, the implications of gravity. Both parts of the paper yield the same conclusion: we are still in the very early stages of empirically understanding specialization and the volume of trade, but the work that has been done can serve as a starting point for further research.

Suggested Citation

Harrigan, James, Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws? (December 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8675. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=294724

James Harrigan (Contact Author)

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