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Estimating the Effects of the Container Revolution on World Trade
Journal of International Economics (2016)
  • Zouheir El-Sahli, Lund University
  • Daniel Bernhofen, American University
  • Richard Kneller, University of Nottingham
Many historical accounts have asserted that containerization triggered complementary technological and organizational changes that revolutionized global freight transport. We are the first to suggest an identification strategy for estimating the effects of the container revolution on world trade. Our empirical strategy exploits time and cross-sectional variation in countries’ first adoption of container facilities and combines it with product-level variation in containerizability and container usage. Applying our container variables on a large panel of product level trade flows for the period 1962-1990, our estimates 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.
  • trade,
  • containerization,
  • technological change,
  • 20th century global transportation infrastructure,
  • growth of world trade
Publication Date
January, 2016
Citation Information
Daniel M. Bernhofen, Zouheir El-Sahli, Richard Kneller, Estimating the effects of the container revolution on world trade, Journal of International Economics, Volume 98, January 2016, Pages 36-50, ISSN 0022-1996, ( Keywords: Containerization; 20th century global transportation infrastructure; Growth of world trade