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La prochaine séance du séminaire du RITM aura lieu jeudi 12 mars 2015 de 14h00 à 15h30 en salle Gaudemet.
Nous aurons le plaisir de recevoir Camilo Umana Dajud (Sciences Po) . Il nous présentera “Trade costs and the Suez and Panama Canals” (avec J. Hugot).
The openings (and closure for the latter) of the Panama and Suez canals were major episodes for world trade. However, little attention has been given by be the trade literature to the subject. The question is interesting in itself because these episodes reshuffled the cards of international trade but also because their large magnitudes make them ideal episodes to study the evolution of trade cost and their impact on welfare. We estimate first the trade creation and the welfare gains that can be attributed to the openings of the Suez and the Panama Canals. We take advantage of the changes in maritime distances to identify the distance elasticity of trade. This identification strategy allows us to control for unobserved country pair characteristics. We then structurally estimate a trade model to find the general equilibrium trade and welfare effects. The results show that the United Kingdom and its Asian colonies were the major winners with the opening of the Suez Canal. Countries along the Pacific coast of South-America were among the major winners of the opening of the Panama Canal. Finally, we use our estimations of the trade elasticity to characterize its evolution over time. Estimations of the gravity equation have consistently found an increase of the distance elasticity coefficient starting in 1950. Contrary to this distance puzzle, we show that the distance elasticity sharply decreased between 1950 and 1990 when unobserved country pair characteristics are accounted for.
Le programme du séminaire du RITM pour l’année 2014-2015 est disponible ici.