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Trade and industrial structure with large firms and heterogeneity

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  • Bekkers, Eddy
  • Francois, Joseph

Abstract

We develop a model of trade and firm heterogeneity in an oligopolistic setting. This setting generates key differences in terms of modelling setup, modelling predictions and welfare implications with respect to the existing literature on trade and firm heterogeneity. In terms of modelling setup our approach allows us to explore interaction between potentially large heterogeneous firms, in contrast to recent trade literature with heterogeneity and atomistic firms. As a result variables like market price and total sales vary endogenously as different firms enter the market. We offer a solution for the integer problem inherent in small group models, based on stochastic dominance. The model generates testable predictions deviating from the benchmark firm heterogeneity model of Melitz (2003) in terms of the effect of trade liberalisation on markups, market shares, the market price. We also derive predictions on the effect of distance and market size on the probability of zero trade flows and export prices. Our model features the possibility that welfare declines as a result of trade liberalisation. The result in Brander and Krugman (1983), the benchmark model for trade under oligopoly, that welfare unambiguously rises with free entry and might decline without free entry due to increased cross-hauling is reversed. In a setting with heterogeneous instead of homogeneous firms, welfare might decline with free entry. A negative welfare effect without free entry can be ruled out if the firm size distribution is sufficiently dispersed.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 69-90

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:60:y:2013:i:c:p:69-90

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Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/eer

Related research

Keywords: Endogenous market structure; Firm heterogeneity; Oligopoly and trade; Welfare effects of trade liberalisation;

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  1. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
  2. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  3. Carlos Arteta & Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 2001. "When Does Capital Account Liberalization Help More than It Hurts?," NBER Working Papers 8414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1982. "A 'Reciprocal Dumping' Model of International Trade," Working Papers 513, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Friberg, Richard & Ganslandt, Mattias, 2006. "An empirical assessment of the welfare effects of reciprocal dumping," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-24, September.
  7. Ghironi, Fabio & Melitz, Marc, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3228377, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  8. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2010. "Firm Entry, Trade, and Welfare in Zipf's World," NBER Working Papers 16313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. J. Peter Neary, 2010. "Two and a Half Theories of Trade †," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(1), pages 1-19, 01.
  10. Hoekman, Bernard & Kee, Hiau Looi, 2003. "Imports, Entry and Competition Law as Market Disciplines," CEPR Discussion Papers 3777, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
  15. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2007. "Pricing-to-market, trade costs, and international relative prices," Working Paper Series 2007-26, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  16. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  17. Hopenhayn, Hugo A, 1992. "Entry, Exit, and Firm Dynamics in Long Run Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(5), pages 1127-50, September.
  18. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
  19. Long, Ngo Van & Raff, Horst & Stähler, Frank, 2011. "Innovation and trade with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 149-159, July.
  20. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
  21. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu, 1997. "Demand elasticities, asymmetry and strategic trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 167-177, February.
  22. James R. Tybout, 2001. "Plant- and Firm-Level Evidence on "New" Trade Theories," NBER Working Papers 8418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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