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CEP discussion paper

International Trade Without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity


This paper derives a micro-founded gravity equation in general equilibrium based on a translog demand system that allows for endogenous markups and substitution patterns across goods. In contrast to standard CES-based gravity equations, trade is more sensitive to trade costs if the exporting country only provides a small share of the destination country’s imports. As a result, trade costs have a heterogeneous impact across country pairs, with some trade flows predicted to be zero. I test the translog gravity equation and find strong empirical support in its favor.


Dennis Novy

December 2010     Paper Number CEPDP1031

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This CEP discussion paper is published under the centre's Trade programme.