Journal of Systems Science and Complexity

, Volume 30, Issue 6, pp 1403–1424 | Cite as

A study on transport costs and China’s Exports: An extended gravity model

  • Lizhi Xu
  • Kin Keung Lai
  • Han QiaoEmail author
  • Shouyang Wang


This paper suggests an extending conventional gravity model design to empirically analyze the effect of transport costs and port efficiency on China’s export flows. It shows that factor endowment and transport costs variables affect export trade value in directions that New Trade Theory (NTT) predicted. Also, the evidence indicates that, controlling for the effects of transport costs on trade, variables in traditional gravity model are consistent with previous empirical studies in both magnitudes and directions. Moreover, more than 22% of the variation in Chinese export trade can be explained by those three variables alone. The findings reported in this paper empirically explains how seriously transport costs and port efficiency affect China’s export growth by comparing effects of labour production factor costs on external trade. It suggests that the improvement of port efficiency and reduction of road transport costs play a vital role in China’s export competitiveness in the global market.


Extended gravity model transport costs port efficiency manufacturing base processing center 


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The authors are very grateful to Prof. FANG Shu-Cherng of North Carolina State University, USA for his advice and help in research and writing of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Institute of Systems Science, Academy of Mathematics and Systems Science, CAS and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lizhi Xu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kin Keung Lai
    • 3
  • Han Qiao
    • 4
    Email author
  • Shouyang Wang
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Collaborative Innovation Center of eTourismBeijing Union UniversityBeijingChina
  2. 2.Tourism InstituteBeijing Union UniversityBeijingChina
  3. 3.Department of Management SciencesCity University of Hong KongHong KongChina
  4. 4.School of Economics and ManagementUniversity of Chinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina
  5. 5.Academy of Mathematics and Systems ScienceChinese Academy of SciencesBeijingChina

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