The tyranny of distance and the gravity of resources

Peter E. Robertson, Marie-Claire Robitaille

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)
71 Downloads (Pure)


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEconomic Record
Early online date30 Aug 2017
Publication statusPublished Online - 30 Aug 2017


  • Energy, Geography, Gravity Model, International Trade, Resources.


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