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The importance of being small. Or when countries are areas and not points

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  • Tharakan, Joe
  • Thisse, Jacques-Francois

Abstract

Market size and transport costs are important ingredients of international trade. We propose to look at these issues from a different perspective. Using a Hotelling duopoly model with quadratic transport costs, we analyse the welfare effects of international trade between two countries that differ only in size. Our results indicate that in most cases free trade will lead to a decrease in prices. Furthermore, the firm of the small country will benefit from market expansion. Finally, the model predicts that the small country benefits from a move towards free trade whereas the opening to trade may hurt the large country.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Volume (Year): 32 (2002)
Issue (Month): 3 (May)
Pages: 381-408

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Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:32:y:2002:i:3:p:381-408

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  1. Motta, M., 1991. "Sunk costs and trade liberalisation," CORE Discussion Papers 1991027, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  2. Steven C. Salop, 1979. "Monopolistic Competition with Outside Goods," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 141-156, Spring.
  3. Alesina, Alberto & Spolaore, Enrico, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-56, November.
  4. Tito CORDELLA, 1996. "On the possibility of a perverse effect of intra-industry trade," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1996021, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  5. Deardorff, Alan V., 1984. "Testing trade theories and predicting trade flows," Handbook of International Economics, in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 467-517 Elsevier.
  6. Economides, Nicholas, 1984. "The principle of minimum differentiation revisited," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 345-368, April.
  7. d'Aspremont, C & Gabszewicz, Jean Jaskold & Thisse, J-F, 1979. "On Hotelling's "Stability in Competition"," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(5), pages 1145-50, September.
  8. Shachmurove, Yochanan & Spiegel, Uriel, 1995. "On Nations' Size and Transportation Costs," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 235-43, June.
  9. Ohsawa, Yoshiaki, 1999. "Cross-border shopping and commodity tax competition among governments," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1), pages 33-51, January.
  10. Markusen, James R., 1981. "Trade and the gains from trade with imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 531-551, November.
  11. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  12. Antonio Cabrales & Massimo Motta, 1996. "Country asymmetries, endogenous product choice and the speed of trade liberalization," Economics Working Papers 259, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, revised Jan 1998.
  13. Tito CORDELLA, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and Oligopolistic Industries : A Welfare Appraisal," Discussion Papers (REL - Recherches Economiques de Louvain) 1993033, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
  14. Schmitt, Nicolas, 1995. "Product Imitation, Product Differentiation and International Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 583-608, August.
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Cited by:
  1. Giuseppe Francesco Gori & Luca Lambertini, 2012. "Trade Liberalisation between Asymmetric Countries with Environmentally Concerned Consumers," Working Paper Series 40_12, The Rimini Centre for Economic Analysis.
  2. Kai Andree & Mike Schwan, 2012. "Collusive market sharing with spatial competition," Volkswirtschaftliche Diskussionsbeiträge 105, Universität Potsdam, Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaftliche Fakultät.
  3. Inoue, Tomohiro & Kamijo, Yoshio & Tomaru, Yoshihiro, 2009. "Interregional mixed duopoly," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-242, March.
  4. Hartmut Egger & Peter Egger, 2004. "Outsourcing and Trade in a Spatial World," DEGIT Conference Papers c009_025, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  5. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter, 2010. "The trade and welfare effects of mergers in space," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 210-220, July.

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