Gravity Research

The USITC Gravity Modeling Group works to expand and improve gravity modeling capabilities at the Commission. It conducts gravity-related research, such as research on trade barriers. The group also develops new software and datasets.

Current projects include studies on the impact of distance, language, and non-tariff measures on trade. Tamara Gurevich, Peter Herman, and coauthors are investigating the effects of within-country language diversity on trade and welfare. Peter Herman is investigating new approaches to measuring the effects of specific non-tariff measures. He is also developing a python package for conducting general equilibrium gravity modeling. Tamara Gurevich is working on an update to the Dynamic Gravity Dataset. Saad Ahmad is updating estimates of the trade elasticity of substitution. He is also working on incorporating the Gamma PML estimator for gravity models of trade along with simple tests that assist users in choosing between competing models. Serge Shikher and coauthors are building the ITPD family of databases. They are also conducting gravity research using highly disaggregated industry data.

Examples of gravity modeling use in Commission studies include the USMCA report, the sub-Saharan Africa report, and the Cuba report.

The group works with external collaborators, including research contractors and visiting scholars.

The resources available to the group include a high-performance modeling server, access to in-house databases, and others.