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Abstract

In this paper we invesƟgate the Linder hypothesis for bilateral export trade in agricultural and food products by uƟlizing the sectoral gravity equaƟon derived in Hallak (2010). Based on a sample of 152 countries, we study the relaƟonship for 737 agricultural and food products at the 6-digit HS code level, using trade data for 1995-2012. We esƟmate the gravity equaƟon year by and year and sector by sector, analyzing the esƟmates of Linder's term for two specificaƟons of the similarity index. We compare a theoreƟcally jusƟfied definiƟon of the index with an adjusted definiƟon that takes into account relaƟve prices. We show that similar demand structures determine bilateral export trade. AccounƟng for relaƟve prices, we find that the Linder term is more pronounced. Our find¬ings show that the similarity effect is strongest for processed products and weakest for bulk products. From those results we come to the conclusion that similar aggregate preferences are a major driver of export trade in final consumpƟon goods.

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