My International Trade reading list

Many people have been asking me for this.  It’s not yet finished, but you can find the current version under the fold of this post.  Suggestions for adding are of course welcome…

Books: Paul Krugman, Pop Internationalism, Geography and Trade, and Development, Geography, and Economic Theory.  Dani Rodrik, One Economics, Many Recipes, and Jacob Viner, Studies in the Theory of International Trade (on-line).

All videos can be found on, if not in the (forthcoming, in September) international trade section than in the development economics class or a few on Mexico in the Mexico class.  In general I recommend viewing the videos before tackling the readings.


I. Comparative advantage and free trade

Bernhofen, Daniel and John C. Brown. 2005. “An Empirical Assessment of the Comparative Advantage Gains from Trade: Evidence from Japan.” American Economic Review.

Autor, David H. David Dorn and Gordon H. Hanson. 2013. “Untangling Trade and Technology: Evidence from Local Labor Markets.” NBER Working Paper.

Acemoglu, Daron, David Autor, David Dorn, and Gordon H. Hanson. 2013. “Import Competition and the Great US Employment Sag of the 2000s.” NBER Working Paper.

Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou and Nina Pavcnik. 2007. “Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries.” Journal of Economic Literature.

Videos: The two videos on Comparative Advantage, Sources of Comparative Advantage, Development and Trade, empirical evidence, Evidence on Comparative Advantage from Japan.


II.Free trade and tariffs

Paul Krugman. “The One-Minute Trade Policy Theorist.” (powerpoint)

Humphrey, Thomas M. 1987. “Classical and Neoclassical Roots of The Theory of Optimum Tariffs.” Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Broda, Christian, Nuno Limao, and David Weinstein. 2008. “Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence.” American Economic Review.

Arkolakis, Costas, Arnaud Costinot and Andres Rodriguez-Clare. 2012. “New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?” American Economic Review.

Kehoe, Timothy J. and Kim J. Kuhl. 2006. “How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?” NBER Working Paper.

Bernhofen, Daniel M., Zouheir El-Sahli, and RIchard Kneller. 2012. “Estimating the Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade.” University of Nottingham Discussion Paper Series.

Nunn, Nathan and Daniel Trefler. 2010. “The Structure of Tariffs and Long-Term Growth.” American Economic Review.

Videos: Tariffs v. Quotas, International Trade Disciplines Monopolies, Effective rate of protection, Theory of Optimal Tariffs, Does “fair trade” help?, Malawi restrict trade in corn, Market reforms in Bangladesh, John Stuart Mill Terms of trade, The Shipping Container.


III. Heckscher-Ohlin and factor abundance theories of trade

Helpman, Elhanan. 1999. “The Structure of Foreign Trade.” Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Debaere, Peter. 2003. “Factor Abundance and Trade.” Journal of Political Economy.

Deardorff, Alan V. 1979. “Weak Links in the Chain of Comparative Advantage.” Journal of International Economics.

Trefler, Daniel. 1993. “International Factor Price Differences: Leontief Was Right!” Journal of Political Economy.

Davis, Donald R. and David E. Weinstein. 2001. “What Role for International Trade.” NBER Working Paper.

Davis, Donald R. 1995. “Intra-Industry Trade: A Heckscher-Ohlin-Ricardo Approach.” Journal of International Economics.

Deardorff, Alan V. 1982. “The General Validity of the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem.” American Economic Review.

Videos: What is at Stake in Trade Theories?, The Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem, Evidence on the Heckscher-Ohlin Theorem.


IV. Increasing Returns

Donaldson, David. “Increasing Returns to Scale and Monopolistic Trade.” Powerpoint, on-line.

Helpman, Elhanan. 1987. “Imperfect Competition and International Trade: Evidence from Fourteen Industrial Countries.” Journal of the Japanese and International Economics.

Davis, Donald R. and David E. Weinstein. 2003. “Market Access, Economic Geography, and Comparative Advantage: An Empirical Test.” Journal of International Economics.

Baldwin, Richard and James Harrigan. 2010. “Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence.” NBER Working Paper.

Antweiler, Werner and Daniel Trefler. 2000. “Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade.” NBER Working Paper.

Debaere, Peter. 2005. “Monopolistic Competition and Trade, Revisited: Testing the Model Without Testing for Gravity.” Journal of International Economics.

Yi, Kei-Mu. 1999. “Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?” Journal of Political Economy.

Harrigan, James. 2001. “Specialization and the Volume of Trade: Do the Data Obey the Laws?” NBER Working Paper.

Bernard, Andrew B., J. Bradford Jensen, Stephen Redding, and Peter K. Schott. 2007. “Firms in International Trade.” NBER Working Paper.

Helpman, Elhanan. 2013. “Foreign Trade and Investment: Firm-Level Perspectives.” NBER Working Paper.

Tybout, James R. 2001. “Plant- and Firm-Level Evidence on “New” Trade Theories.” NBER Working Paper.

Bernard, Andrew B. and J. Bradford Jensen. 2004. “Why Some Firms Export.” Review of Economics and Statistics.

Videos: Trade and External Economies of Scale, Monopolistic Competition and International Trade, Trade and Increasing Returns: Evidence, Paul Romer, Robert Torrens on strategic trade policy, The Economics of Bollywood.


V. Gravity models

Anderson, James and Eric van Wincoop.  2004. “Trade Costs” Journal of Economic Literature.

Head, Keith. 2011. “Gravity for Beginners.” Presented at US-Canada Border Conference.

Hummels, David. 2007. “Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization.” Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Deardorff, Alan V. 1998. “Determinants of Bilateral Trade: Does Gravity Work in a Neoclassical World?” NBER Working Paper.

Feenstra, Robert C., James R. Markusen, and Andrew K. Rose. 2001. “Using the Gravity Equation to Differentiate Among Alternative Theories of Trade.” The Canadian Journal of Economics.

Evenett, Simon J. and Wolfgang Keller. 1998. “On Theories Explaining the Success of the Gravity Equation.” NBER Working Paper.

Trefler, Daniel. 1995. “The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries.” American Economic Review.

Anderson, James and Eric van Wincoop. 2003. “Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle.” American Economic Review.

Novy, Dennis. 2012. “Gravity Redux: Measuring International Trade Costs with Panel Data.” Economic Inquiry.

Eaton, Jonathan and Samuel Kortum. 2002. “Technology, Geography, and Trade.” Econometrica.

Donaldson, David. 2011. “Gravity Models.” No Journal—powerpoint.

Rossi-Hansberg, Esteban. 2005. “A Spatial Theory of Trade.” American Economic Review.

Chaney, Thomas. 2008. “Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade.” American Economic Review.

Anderson, James E. 1979. “A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation.” American Economic Review.

Video: The Gravity Equation and the Costs of Trade.


VI. Offshoring and factor prices

No Author. “Trade and Factor Prices” (powerpoint)

Feenstra, Robert C. 2008. “Offshoring in the Global Economy.” Ohlin Lecture Series.

Grossman, Gene M. and Esteban Rossi-Hansberg. 2006. “The Rise of Offshoring: It’s Not Wine for Cloth Anymore.” Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.

Grossman, Gene M. 2008. “Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring.” American Economic Review.

Donaldson, David. 2011. “Trade and Labor Markets.” powerpoint.

Khandelwal, Amit. 2009. “The Long and Short (of) Quality Ladders.” Review of Economic Studies.

Bernard, Andrew B., Stephen J Redding, and Peter K. Schott. 2012. “Testing the Factor Price Equality with Unobserved Differences in Factor Quality or Productivity.” U.S. Census Bureau Working Paper.

Baldwin, Richard. 2011. “How Trade and Industrial Organization After Globalization’s 2nd Unblundling: How Building and Joining a Supply Chain are Different and Why it Matters.” NBER Working Paper.

Videos: Factor price equalization, Specific Factors Models, Economics of Offshoring, The Rybczynski Theorem, Trade, Investment, and Migration as Substitutes, Unbundling the Supply Chain.


VI. Trade in economic history

Blecker, Robert A. 1997. “The ‘Unnatural and Retrograde Order’: Adam Smith’s Theories of Trade and Development Reconsidered.” Economica.

Irwin, Douglas. 2002. “Interpreting the Tariff-Growth Correlation of the Late Nineteenth Century.” American Economic Review.

Irwin, Douglas. 2002. “Did Import Substitution Promote Growth in the Late Nineteenth Century?” NBER Working Paper.

Clemens, Michael A. and Jeffrey G. Williamson. 2001. “A Tariff-Growth Paradox? Protection’s Impact on the World Around 1875-1997.” NBER Working Paper.

John Nye, “The Myth of Free Trade Britain and Fortress France,” Journal of Economic History, 1991.

Harrison, Ann and Andres Rodriguez-Clare. 2009. “Trade, Foreign Investment, and Industrial Policy for Developing Countries.” NBER Working Paper.

Irwin, Douglas. 1997. “From Smoot-Hawley to Reciprocal Agreements: Changing the Course of U.S. Trade Policy in the 1930s.” NBER Working Paper.

Irwin, Douglas. 1998. “The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment.” The Review of Economic Statistics.

Crowley, Meredith A. and Xi Luo. 2011. “Understanding the Great Trade Collapse of 2008-09 and the Subsequent Trade Recovery.” Journal of Economic Perspectives.

Gopinath, Gita and Oleg Itskhoki. 2009. “Trade Prices and the Global Trade Collapse of 2008-2009.” NBER Working Paper.

Francois, Joseph and Julia Woerz. 2009. “The Big Drop: Trade and the Great Recession.” No Journal, article online.

Videos: Corn Law debates, Friedrich List, Robert Torrens on sliding tariffs, The deindustrialization of India, Tariffs and Growth in the late 19th Century, South Korea and Industrial Policy, The Smoot-Hawley Tariff, Why Did Trade Plummet in the Great Recession?


VII. FDI and multinationals

Blonigen, Bruce A. 2005. “A Review of the Empirical Literature on FDI Determinants.” NBER Working Paper.

Ramondo, Natalia and Andres Rodriguez-Clare. 2009. “Trade, Multinational Production, and the Gains from Openness.” NBER Working Paper.

Antras, Pol and Stephen R. Yeaple. 2013. “Multinational Firms and the Structure of International Trade.” NBER Working Paper.

Videos: Basics of multinational corporations, Intra-firm Trade, Intra-industry Trade, Gains from Multinationals, Who Gains from FDI?, Productivity in firms, Foreign investment in India, Competition from foreign retailers, What is a Maquiladora? Introduction to NAFTA, NAFTA and Mexican Agriculture, The Effect of NAFTA on the Mexican Economy.


VIII. The politics of trade

Grossman, Gene M. and Elhanan Helpman. 1994. “Protection for Sale.” American Economic Review.

Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou and Giovanni Maggi. 1999. “Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation.” American Economic Review.

Mayda, Anna Maria and Dani Rodrik. 2005. “What are Some People (and Countries) More Protectionist than Others?” European Economic Review.

Grossman, Gene M. and Elhanan Helpman. 1995. “The Politics of Free-Trade Agreements.” American Economic Review.

Harrison, Ann and Jason Scorse. 2010. “Multinational and Anti-Sweatshop Activism.” American Economic Review.

Videos: The Political Economy of Tariffs, Does Trade Help the Environment?, Regulation as a Major Trade Barrier, Who Supports Free Trade?, The Cultural Diversity Critique of Markets.



When you say "All videos can be found on" you mean to say that (a) they will be available and organized like the other courses are (b) each of them is on the site somewhere to those who successfully hunt around (many of them were available this way)?

Hyperlinks to the articles would be appreciated, if it's not too hard.

The videos will be up in September...

Thanks - looking forward to it!

Tyler, I think you should check out Andrei Levchenko's work ( This paper in particular would be good for your course (under "trade and institutions" topic or something like that):

International Trade and Institutional Change
Forthcoming, Journal of Law, Economics, and Organization

But there are a couple more of his papers that I think would be very useful in a graduate-level trade course.

I used the Krugman, Obstfeld, and Melitz International Economics textbook as an undergrad and I can't stress enough how good it is as an intro to most of these topics. It's a textbook, but I read it almost like any other book and it gets straight to the point -- something you don't get in a lot of books that try to popularize these topics.

I would add Melitz's 2003 Econometrica paper, which has more than 5000 citations.

I don't spot much on vertical trade structure, something that jumps out as an issue if you start looking at Chinese trade, there are a few articles on the value added inside China for an iPhone. I'm sure there's more because the Xing & Ferrarini articles are culled for teaching a class on China rather than a trade class, and the Ito article because I know her.
Ito, Keiko and Paprzycki, Ralph (2010). Investment, Production, and Trade Networks as Drivers of East Asian Integration. New York: Columbia University. Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Paper No. 288.
Ferrarini, Benno (2013). Vertical Trade Maps. Asian Economic Journal, 27(2), pp. 105-123.
Xing, Yuqing and Detert, Neal (2010). How the iPhone Widens the United States Trade Deficit with the People’s Republic of China. Manila: Asian Development Bank. December, ADBI Working Paper Series No. 257.
Xing, Yuqing (2011). China’s High-tech Exports: Myth and Reality. Tokyo: GRIPS. June, Discussion Paper 11-05.

I am not joking when I reccomend The Extraordinary Voyage of Pytheas the Greek by Barry Cunliffe. I'm amazed at how seemingly smart people completely misunderstand international trade in pre-Roman/pre-writing times. Mountains of silver moved from Spain to the Levant and eastward, iron from Britain to the Mediterranean, finished goods from the Mediterranean to the Baltic, etc. How? This little, charming book gives a window.

When you're discussing optimal tariff theory, I would surely include Bagwell and Staiger (1999) "An Economic Theory of GATT." At the end of "The One Minute Trade Policy Theorist", Krugman asks "Is 'GATT-think' really driven by optimal tariff considerations?" The Bagwell & Staiger paper is a simple and elegant theoretical explanation for how the optimal tariff argument does still matter for understanding trade agreements, even if governments have a wide variety of other concerns in setting trade policy. The paper does not require any understanding of the political economy of trade policy, although the government preferences are general enough to allow for the political economy motives discussed later in the syllabus.

*Nothing* by Bhagwati?

Bastiat - Petition from Candlestick Makers...

I wish you'd do this for welfare economics.

Going into my 5th year as a graduate student at Penn State where several of the authors in Tyler's list work(ed): Andres Rodriguez-Clare, Jonathan Eaton, Steve Yeaple, and Jim Tybout. I have seen at least half of the other authors present. Congratulations, Tyler, this list is excellent. Nearly every important trade paper published in the last decade is here (major omission: Melitz, and maybe a couple of more minor omissions like Helpman, Melitz, Yeaple, Cecilia Fieler's econometrica paper, Arkolakis job market paper, and Eaton, Kortum, Kramarz ). I'm looking forward to the course!

Needs more on networks (probably as an addendum to the gravity section or substitution for some of it), try this for starters:

Also needs much more political economy. Grossman-Helpman is nice and all, but there are decades of lit done on trade politics. Skimming some political science journals might be profitable.

Nice list. One update: Kehoe and Ruhl (with an R), JPE, 2013.

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