Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization

  title={Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization},
  author={David Hummels},
  journal={Journal of Economic Perspectives},
  • David Hummels
  • Published 1 July 2007
  • Economics
  • Journal of Economic Perspectives
While the precise causes of postwar trade growth are not well understood, declines in transport costs top the lists of usual suspects. However, there is remarkably little systematic evidence documenting the decline. This paper brings to bear an eclectic mix of data in order to provide a detailed accounting of the time-series pattern of shipping costs. The ad-valorem impact of ocean shipping costs is not much lower today than in the 1950s, with technological advances largely trumped by adverse… 

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