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Trade, externalities, and the impact of asymmetric information on trade policy

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  • G. F. Gori
  • L. Lambertini

Abstract

This paper investigates the relationship between trade liberalisation, consumers' environmental awareness and a negative environmental externality in consumption. We adopt an international Hotelling duopoly setup, where firms are located in two asymmetric countries. We find that, if the intensity of environmental externality is common knowledge for country governments, this setup delivers no need of accompanying trade policies in order to enforce trade liberalisation. In the opposite case, in which information is asymmetric, i.e., the small country's Government cannot observe the positive enviromental effects of its firm's exports to foreign consumers, we find that: (i) the Pareto optimum is always enforced, since the brown country always relaxes the distortionary trade policy, and (ii) cheating on the environmental externality allows the brown country's government to extract extra surplus from the green country. Allowing for trade in green technology delivers opposite conclusions: the externality is minimised and welfare is maximised in equilibrium if information is symmetric while trade liberalisation with asymmetric information always entails a second best outcome.

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Paper provided by Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna in its series Working Papers with number wp930.

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Date of creation: Mar 2014
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Handle: RePEc:bol:bodewp:wp930

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  1. Howitt, Peter & Griffith, Rachel & Aghion, Philippe & Blundell, Richard & Bloom, Nick, 2005. "Competition and Innovation: An Inverted-U Relationship," Scholarly Articles 4481507, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  2. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2001. "Advertising in a Differential Oligopoly Game," Working Papers 427, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  3. Jean Tirole, 1988. "The Theory of Industrial Organization," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262200716, December.
  4. Varian, Hal R., 1990. "Goodness-of-fit in optimizing models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 46(1-2), pages 125-140.
  5. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2003. "Dynamic R&D with Spillovers: Competition vs Cooperation," Working Papers 495, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  6. Cellini, Roberto & Lambertini, Luca, 2002. "A differential game approach to investment in product differentiation," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 51-62, November.
  7. Varian, Hal R, 1982. "The Nonparametric Approach to Demand Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 945-73, July.
  8. Hausman, Jerry A, 1981. "Exact Consumer's Surplus and Deadweight Loss," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 662-76, September.
  9. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2002. "Advertising with Spillover Effects in a Differential Oligopoly Game With Differentiated Goods," Working Papers 430, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
  10. Richard Gilbert, 2006. "Looking for Mr. Schumpeter: Where Are We in the Competition-Innovation Debate?," NBER Chapters, in: Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 6, pages 159-215 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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