Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




The traditional models in the pure theory of international trade, notably those of Ricardo, Graham, and Heckscher-and-ohlin formally abstract from the actual tasks of distributing economic goods and services from one country to another. This abstraction is generally concretized in the familiar assumptions of factor immobility and negligible transportation costs.

Whatever may be the mythodological or analytical merits of such assumptions, it is common knowledge that the actual process of moving an economic good or service between two countries say entail the services of shippers, insurance agents, bankers, merchants, freight-forwarders, mail men, telephone operators, lawyers, commission aqents, etc. Such services-- henceforth referred to collectively as distribution services - put a claim on scarce economic resources and therefore deserve to be studied by the economist. Unfortunately, in the literature on international trade, theoretical or empirical studies on distribution services are rare.