The economic geography of trade, production, and income: a survey of empirics

Henry G. Overman, Stephen Redding, Anthony J. Venables

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This chapter surveys the empirical literature on the economic geography of trade flows, factor prices, and the location of production. The discussion is structured around the empirical predictions of a canonical theoretical model. We review empirical evidence on the determinants of trade costs and the effects of these costs on trade flows. Geography is a major determinant of factor prices, and access to foreign markets alone is shown to explain some 35 percent of the cross-country variation in per capita income. The chapter documents empirical findings of home market (or magnification) effects, suggesting that imperfectly competitive industries are drawn more than proportionately to locations with good market access. Subnational evidence establishes the presence of industrial clustering, and we examine the roles played by product market linkages to customer and supplier firms, knowledge spillovers, and labor market externalities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of International Trade
Number of pages38
ISBN (Print)0631211616, 9780631211617
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • Factor prices
  • Localization
  • Technology differences
  • Trade costs
  • Trade volumes

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