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TDPE presents: Daniel M. Brenforen

341 Eggers Hall

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Daniel M. Brenforen, American University, CESifo and GEP

Authors: Daniel M. Bernhofen, Zouheir El-Sahli  and Richard Kneller 

Abstract: Many historical accounts have asserted that the container revolution triggered complementary organizational changes in global freight transport that accelerated the growth of world trade. These authors are the first to suggest identification strategies for estimating the effects of this revolution on world trade. Their first approach exploits 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 a large panel of product level trade flows. Their second approach builds an instrument for container adoption based on historical evidence on the diffusion of container technology by the US military during the Vietnam War. Both strategies suggest economically large concurrent and cumulative effects of containerization and lend support for the view of containerization being a driver of 20th century economic globalization.

Short Bio: Daniel Bernhofen is Professor in the School of International Service at American University in Washington, DC. He has published widely (including in the American Economic Review and the Journal of Political Economy) on the theoretical, empirical and historical aspects of international trade and his research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. He holds a PhD in Economics from Syracuse University.

Sponsored by Trade, Development and Political Economy at the Moynihan Institute of Global Affairs

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