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Sub-national differentiation and the role of the firm in optimal international pricing

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  • Balistreri, Edward J.
  • Markusen, James R.

Abstract

We illuminate the relationship between optimal firm pricing and optimal trade policy by exploring a generalized model that accommodates product differentiation at both the national and sub-national (firm) levels. We assume monopolistic competition in the differentiated products at the sub-national level. When the national and sub-national substitution elasticities are similar we find little opportunity for small countries to improve their terms of trade through trade distortions, because firms play an important preemptive role in optimally pricing unique varieties. We contrast this with standard applications of perfect-competition Armington models, which exhibit high optimal tariffs--even for relatively small countries.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 26 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 47-62

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:26:y:2009:i:1:p:47-62

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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Keywords: Armington assumption Monopolistic competition Terms-of-trade effects Trade;

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References

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  1. Markusen, James R., 1990. "Derationalizing tariffs with specialized intermediate inputs and differentiated final goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 375-383, May.
  2. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
  3. Markusen, James R. & Melvin, James R. & Maskus, Keith E. & Kaempfer, William, 1995. "International trade: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 21989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1992. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 11-30, 01.
  5. Brown, Drusilla K., 1987. "Tariffs, the terms of trade, and national product differentiation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 503-526.
  6. Russell H. Hillberry & Michael A. Anderson & Edward J. Balistreri & Alan K. Fox, 2005. "Taste Parameters as Model Residuals: Assessing the "Fit" of an Armington Trade Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 973-984, November.
  7. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
  8. Drusilla K. Brown & Kozo Kiyota & Robert M. Stern, 2005. "Computational Analysis of the US FTAs with Central America, Australia and Morocco," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(10), pages 1441-1490, October.
  9. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  10. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  11. Markusen, James R & Wigle, Randall M, 1989. "Nash Equilibrium Tariffs for the United States and Canada: The Roles of Country Size, Scale Economies, and Capital Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 368-86, April.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jensen, Jesper & Tarr, David G., 2012. "Deep trade policy options for Armenia: The importance of trade facilitation, services and standards liberalization," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(1), pages 1-54.
  2. Vásquez Cordano, Arturo L. & Balistreri, Edward J., 2010. "The marginal cost of public funds of mineral and energy taxes in Peru," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 257-264, December.
  3. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2008. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 08/89, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
  4. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2012. "Tariffs and welfare in new trade theory models," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 41, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. World Bank, 2012. "Assessment of Costs and Benefits of the Customs Union for Kazakhstan," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2722, The World Bank.
  6. Jensen, Jesper & Tarr, David G., 2010. "Regional trade policy options for Tanzania : the importance of services commitments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5481, The World Bank.
  7. World Bank, 2012. "Kazakhstan : Assessment of Costs and Benefits of the Customs," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12299, The World Bank.
  8. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2013. "Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.

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