Edward J. Balistreri

Spring 2016

While office mates at the USITC Russell Hillberry and I coined the term estibration to describe the procedures we were using to replicate the non-linear empirical analysis of Anderson and van Wincoop (2003). Inspired by Dawkins, Srinivasan, and Whalley's chapter in the Handbook of Econometrics, "Calibration," the intent of the new word was to push back on Anderson and van Wincoop's argument that their model and method was more credible because it was estimated rather than calibrated. An argument they made most vehemently in their Brookings Trade Forum paper. In company with Dawkins, Srinivasan, and Whalley (2001), we argued that under consistent identifying assumptions estimation is calibration and calibration is estimation. Our illustration of this point using the Anderson and van Wincoop example was eventually published in Economic Inquiry (in 2008, after years of review at various other journals) under the title "The Gravity Model: An Illustration of Structural Estimation as Calibration." A reviewer advised us to adopt the published title, but the original title is preserved here on the working paper version, "Estibration: An Illustration of Structural Estimation As Calibration" (2005). This page also includes the following link to the zip archive with the data and GAMS code used in the analysis:


Anderson, J.E., and E. van Wincoop (2002) "Borders, Trade, and Welfare," in Brookings Trade Forum: 2001, edited by S.M. Collins and D. Rodrik. Washington DC: Brookings Institution Press, 207-230.

Anderson, J.E., and E. van Wincoop (2003) "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, 93, 170-191.

Balistreri, E.J., and R.H. Hillberry (2008) "The Gravity Model: an Illustration of Structural Estimation as Calibration," Economic Inquiry, 46(4), 511-527.

Dawkins, C., T.N. Srinivasan, and J. Whalley (2001) "Calibration," in Handbook of Econometrics, Vol 5, Chapter 58, edited by J.J. Heckman and E.E. Leamer. Amsterdam: Elsevier, 3655-3705.