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

57 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2006

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: November 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 this paper discusses evidence on comparative advantage, with an emphasis on carefully connecting theoretical models with data analyses. The second part of the paper considers the theoretical foundations of the gravity model and reviews the small number of studies 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.

Keywords: international trade, empirical research, economics

JEL Classification: F1

Suggested Citation

Harrigan, James, Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws? (November 2001). FRB of New York Staff Report No. 140. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=921392 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.921392

James Harrigan (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 400182
Charlottesville, VA 22904-4182
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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