What Role for Empirics in International Trade?
NBER Working Paper No. 8543
In the field of international trade, data analysis has traditionally had quite modest influence relative to that of pure theory. At one time, this might have been rationalized by the paucity of empirics in the field or its weak theoretical foundations. In recent years empirical research has begun to provide an increasingly detailed view of the determinants of trade relations. Yet the field as a whole has been slow to incorporate these findings in its fundamental worldview. In this paper, we outline and extend what we view as key robust findings from the empirical literature that should be part of every international economists working knowledge.