Walter Steingress is a Senior Economist in the International Studies Division of the International Department. His primary interests lie within the field of international macroeconomics. Walter’s other research interests include migration and international trade. Before joining the Bank of Canada, Walter held an appointment at the Bank of France. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Montreal and holds a master’s degree from Boston University.

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Staff discussion papers

Product Sophistication and the Slowdown in Chinese Export Growth

Staff Discussion Paper 2017-15 Mark Kruger, Walter Steingress, Sri Thanabalasingam
Chinese real export growth decelerated considerably during the last decade. This paper argues that the slowdown largely resulted from China moving to a more sophisticated mix of exports: China produced more sophisticated goods over which it had pricing power instead of producing greater volumes of less sophisticated products.

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Staff working papers

No Double Standards: Quantifying the Impact of Standard Harmonization on Trade

Staff Working Paper 2019-36 Julia Schmidt, Walter Steingress
Product standards are omnipresent in industrialized societies. Though standardization can be beneficial for domestic producers, divergent product standards have been categorized as a major obstacle to international trade. This paper quantifies the effect of standard harmonization on trade flows and characterizes the extent to which it changes the cost and demand structure of exporting.

Estimating the Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Total Exports

Staff Working Paper 2019-17 Thierry Mayer, Walter Steingress
This paper shows that real effective exchange rate (REER) regressions, the standard approach for estimating the response of aggregate exports to exchange rate changes, imply biased estimates of the underlying elasticities. We provide a new aggregate regression specification that is consistent with bilateral trade flows micro-founded by the gravity equation.

Market Size and Entry in International Trade: Product Versus Firm Fixed Costs

Staff Working Paper 2018-43 Walter Steingress
This paper develops a theoretical framework to infer the nature of fixed costs from the relationship between entry patterns in international markets and destination market size. If fixed costs are at the firm level, firms take advantage of an intrafirm spillover by expanding firm-level product range (scope).

The Political Impact of Immigration: Evidence from the United States

Staff Working Paper 2018-19 Anna Maria Mayda, Giovanni Peri, Walter Steingress
In this paper we study the impact of immigration to the United States on the vote for the Republican Party by analyzing county-level data on election outcomes between 1990 and 2010. Our main contribution is to separate the effect of high-skilled and low-skilled immigrants, by exploiting the different geography and timing of the inflows of these two groups of immigrants.
Content Type(s): Staff research, Staff working papers Topic(s): International topics, Labour markets JEL Code(s): F, F2, F22, J, J6, J61

The Causal Impact of Migration on US Trade: Evidence from Political Refugees

Staff Working Paper 2017-49 Walter Steingress
Immigrants can increase international trade by shifting preferences towards the goods of their country of origin and by reducing bilateral transaction costs. Using geographical variation across U.S. states for the period 2008 to 2013, I estimate the respective causal impact of immigrants on U.S. exports and imports.

Global Trade Flows: Revisiting the Exchange Rate Elasticities

This paper contributes to the debate on the magnitude of exchange rate elasticities by providing a set of price and quantity elasticities for 51 advanced and emerging-market economies. Specifically, for each of these countries we report the elasticity of trade prices and trade quantities on both the export and on the import sides, as well as the reaction of the trade balance.

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Journal publications

Refereed journal

  • “The Political Impact of Immigrants: Evidence from the United States” (2020) - Forthcoming American Economic Journal: Applied Economics - joint with Anna Maria Mayda and Giovanni Peri
  • “Estimating the Effect of Exchange Rate Changes on Total Exports” (2020) - Journal of International Money and Finance, vol. 106, pages 102-184 - joint with Thierry Mayer
  • “Global Trade Flows: Revisiting the Exchange Rate Elasticities” (2020) - Open Economies Review, vol. 31, pages 25–78 - joint with Matthieu Bussière and Guillaume Gaulier
  • “Market Size and Entry in International Trade: product versus firm fixed costs” (2019) - Review of International Economics, vol. 27(5), pages 1351-1370
  • “The Causal Impact of Migration on US Trade: Evidence from Political Refugees” (2018) - Canadian Journal of Economics, vol. 51(4), pages 1312-1338
  • “Financial constraints in China: Firm-level evidence” (2010) - China Economic Review, vol. 21(3), pages 411-422 - joint with Sandra Poncet & Hylke Vandenbussche