The geography of trade in goods and asset holdings

Abstract : Gravity models have been widely used to describe bilateral trade in goods. Portes and Rey [Portes, R., Rey, H., 2005. The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows. Journal of International Economics, 65(2), 269-296.] applied this framework to cross-border equity flows and found that distance, which proxies information asymmetries, is a surprisingly very large barrier to cross-border asset trade. We adopt a different point of view and explore the complementarity between bilateral trade in goods and bilateral asset holdings in a simultaneous gravity equations framework. Providing different instruments for both endogenous variables, we show that a 10% increase in bilateral trade raises bilateral asset holdings by 6% to 7%. The reverse causality is also significant, albeit smaller. Controlling for trade, the impact of distance on asset holdings is drastically reduced. Keywords: Gravity models; International finance; International trade; Simultaneous equations
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Antonin Aviat, Nicolas Coeurdacier. The geography of trade in goods and asset holdings. Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, 2007, pp.22-51. ⟨hal-01045223⟩

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