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The World Trade Network

Luca De Benedictis () and Lucia Tajoli ()

No 51-2009, Working Papers from Macerata University, Department of Finance and Economic Sciences





This paper uses the tools of network analysis and graph theory

to graphically and analytically represent the characteristics of world

trade. The structure of the World Trade Network is compared over

time, detecting and interpreting patterns of trade ties among countries.

In particular, we assess whether the entrance of a number of

new important players into the world trading system in recent years

has changed the main characteristics of the existing structure of world

trade, or whether the existing network was simply extended to a new

group of countries. We also analyze whether the observed changes in

international trade flow patterns are related to the multilateral or the

regional liberalization policies. The results show that trade integration

at the world level has been increasing but it is still far from being

complete, with the exception of some areas, that there is a strong

heterogeneity in the countries’ choice of partners, and that the WTO

plays an important role in trade integration. The role of the extensive

and the intensive margin of trade is also highlighted.

Keywords: Network analysis; International Trade; WTO; Extensive and Intensive Margins of Trade; Gravity (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-int and nep-net
Date: 2009-03, Revised 2009-03
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Related works:
Journal Article: The World Trade Network (2011)
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