The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates and Evidence
NBER Working Paper No. 16796
Quantitative results from a large class of structural gravity models of international trade depend critically on the elasticity of trade with respect to trade frictions. We develop a new simulated method of moments estimator to estimate this elasticity from disaggregate price and trade-flow data and we use it within Eaton and Kortum's (2002) Ricardian model. We apply our estimator to disaggregate price and trade-flow data for 123 countries in the year 2004. Our method yields a trade elasticity of roughly four, nearly fifty percent lower than Eaton and Kortum's (2002) approach. This difference doubles the welfare gains from international trade.
You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from SSRN.com ($5) for electronic delivery.
This paper was revised on July 30, 2013