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The tyranny of distance and the gravity of resources

Robertson, Peter E.; Robitaille, Marie-Claire

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Peter E. Robertson

Marie-Claire Robitaille


To what extent does geography remain an important determinant of comparative advantage and factor incomes in resource markets? We estimate gravity models for resources and find that some minerals and fuels, particularly Iron Ore and Gas, do have very high elasticities of trade with respect to distance. To assess the implications of this we then consider a simple counterfactual where location advantages are eliminated. We find that for a few countries, including Australia and New Zealand, distance barriers have a large impact of their market share.


Robertson, P. E., & Robitaille, M.-C. (in press). The tyranny of distance and the gravity of resources. Economic Record,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 30, 2017
Deposit Date Nov 15, 2017
Publicly Available Date Aug 31, 2019
Journal Economic Record
Print ISSN 0013-0249
Electronic ISSN 1475-4932
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords Energy, Geography, Gravity Model, International Trade, Resources.
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Additional Information This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Robertson, P. E. and Robitaille, M.-C. (2017), The Tyranny of Distance and the Gravity of Resources. Econ Rec. doi:10.1111/1475-4932.12368, which has been published in final form at: This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Contract Date Nov 15, 2017


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