Type
Article
Titre
The Gravity Equation in International Trade: an Explanation
Dans
Journal of Political Economy
Éditeur
US
Volume
126
Numéro
1
Pages
150 - 177 p.
ISSN
00223808
DOI
10.1086/694292
Résumé
EN
The gravity equation in international trade states bilateral exports are proportional to economic size, and inversely proportional to geographic distance. While the role of size is well understood, that of distance remains mysterious. I offer an explanation for the role of distance: If (i) the distribution of firm sizes is Pareto, (ii) the average squared distance of a firm’s exports is an increasing power function of its size, and (iii) a parameter restriction holds, then the distance elasticity of trade is constant for long distances. When the firm size distribution follows Zipf’s law, trade is inversely proportional to distance.

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