NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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AI and International Trade

Avi Goldfarb, Daniel Trefler

NBER Working Paper No. 24254
Issued in January 2018
NBER Program(s):International Trade and Investment, Productivity, Innovation, and Entrepreneurship

This paper explores the international dimensions of the economics of artificial intelligence. Trade theory emphasizes the roles of scale, competition, and knowledge creation and knowledge diffusion as fundamental to comparative advantage. We explore key features of AI with respect to these dimensions and describe the features of an appropriate model of international trade in the context of AI. We then discuss policy implications with respect to investments in research, and behind-the-border regulations such as privacy, data localization, standards, and competition. We conclude by emphasizing that there is still much to learn before we have a comprehensive understanding of how AI will affect trade.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w24254

Forthcoming: AI and International Trade, Avi Goldfarb, Daniel Trefler. in The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, Agrawal, Gans, and Goldfarb. 2018

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