Nottingham Centre for Research on
Globalisation and Economic Policy (GEP)
   
   
  

GEP Research Paper 13/02

Estimating The Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade 

Daniel M Bernhofen, Zouheir El-Sahli and Richard Kneller

Summary

We exploit time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ adoption of port or railway container facilities to provide the first econometric evidence for the container revolution to be a driver of 20th century economic globalisation. 

Abstract

We quantify the effects of the container revolution on a large panel of product level trade flows during 1962-1990. We exploit time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ first adoption of container facilities to construct a time-varying bilateral container technology variable and estimate its effects on trade in the panel. On North-North trade, the cumulative average treatment effects of containerization over a 20 year time period amount to about 700%, can be interpreted as causal and are larger than the standard policy liberalization variables. In a nutshell, we provide the first econometric evidence for containerization to be a driver of 20th century economic globalization.

Issued in February 2013

The paper is available in PDF format

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