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Not all trade restrictions are created equally

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  • Matthew Cole

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Abstract

There has been great focus in the recent trade theory literature on the introduction of firm heterogeneity into trade models. This introduction has highlighted the importance of the entry/exit decision of firms in response to changes in trade barriers. However, it is typical in many of these models to use iceberg transport costs as a general form of trade barriers that can be interchangeable with ad valorem tariffs. I show that this is not always an appropriate conclusion. Specifically, I illustrate that profit for an exporter is more elastic in response to tariffs than iceberg transport costs, which has implications for total product variety. One such implication is the possibility for there to be an anti-variety effect associated with lower transport costs while there also being a pro-variety effect associated with lower tariffs.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 147 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 411-427

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:147:y:2011:i:3:p:411-427

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Keywords: Intra-industry trade; Trade policy; Firm heterogeneity; Monopolistic competition; F10; F12; F13;

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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2011. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence From French Firms," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(5), pages 1453-1498, 09.
  2. Chor, Davin, 2009. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a model with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 113-125, June.
  3. Zhihao Yu, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and intra-industry trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 277-290, June.
  4. Sébastien Jean, 2000. "International Trade and Firms’ Heterogeneity Under Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 2000-13, CEPII research center.
  5. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
  6. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2006. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," NBER Working Papers 12192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
  8. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  9. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Opromolla, Luca David, 2010. "The Tip of the Iceberg: Modeling Trade Costs and Implications for Intra-Industry Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7685, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Trade Policy under Firm-Level Heterogeneity in a Small Economy," NBER Working Papers 13688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585, May.
  12. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  13. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  14. Matthew T Cole, 2010. "Distorted Trade Barriers: A Comment on “Distorted Gravity”," Working Papers 201019, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  15. Lawless, Martina & Whelan, Karl, 2008. "Where do Firms Export, How Much and Why?," Research Technical Papers 6/RT/08, Central Bank of Ireland.
  16. Jørgensen Jan Guldager & Schröder Philipp J. H., 2006. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, July.
  17. Johannes Becker, 2013. "Taxation of Foreign Profits with Heterogeneous Multinational Firms," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 76-92, 01.
  18. 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.
  19. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  20. Jonathan EATON, Samuel KORTUM, Francis KRAMARZ, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade : Evidence from French Firms” ~We examine the sales of French manufacturing ?rms in 113 destinations, including Franceitself. Several regularities stand out: (1) th," Working Papers 2008-29, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  21. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Cole, Matthew T. & Davies, Ronald B., 2011. "Strategic tariffs, tariff jumping, and heterogeneous firms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 55(4), pages 480-496, May.
  2. Jan Jørgensen & Philipp Schröder & Zhihao Yu, 2012. "Globalization beyond partitioning: back to Krugman’s world," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 148(1), pages 73-87, April.
  3. 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.

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