By Paul Krugman (auth.), M. G. Dagenais, P.-A. Muet (eds.)
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Extra resources for International Trade Modelling
Whether an addition might be made to the model to improve its explanatory range is the issue raised in the present work. One aspect of the trade pattern not well explained by Heckscher-Ohlin theory is the large amount of 'two-way' trade. Two-way trade is the importing and 14 Testing an imperfect competition trade model exporting of the 'same' goods at some chosen level of aggregation. At any practicable level, of course, many such goods are actually different and have different factor bases for trade.
This causes multicollinearity in the regressions run on the various transformations of the factor endowments and therefore dispersed estimates for the individual factor coefficients, but it also serves as preliminary evidence that the factor similarity assumption necessary for FPE is not too far off the mark. While a few of the individual coefficients are robustly signed, the main emphasis of the exercise is to compare the two models. The tests of the first kind of comparison on trade volumes and two-way trade (non-FPE) are almost uniformly consistent with the predictions of the Helpman-Krugman model: trade volume follows country-group GDP sizes; trade-to-income ratios are inversely related to in-group size dispersion, and two-way trade shares follow similarity of factor endowments.
Specification tests on the combined model reject at the 1% level both the (joint) insignificance of the Heckscher-Ohlin factors and the (joint) insignificance of the Helpman-Krugman factors. The test on the significance of the Helpman-Krugman factors is robust to many alternative specifications of the Heckscher-Ohlin part of the model, including higher-order terms for the Heckscher-Ohlin factors to account for possible non-linear aggregation bias effects. To summarize, the present work provides evidence that an influence apart from Heckscher-Ohlin has a large impact on the trade pattern.