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Free Trade Vs. Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box

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  • Grossman, Gene
  • Maggi, Giovanni

Abstract

We investigate whether a welfare-maximizing government ought to pursue a programme of strategic trade intervention or instead commit itself to free trade when, in the former case, domestic firms will have an opportunity to manipulate the government’s choice of the level of intervention. Domestic firms may over-invest in physical and knowledge capital in a regime of strategic intervention in order to influence the government’s choice of subsidy. In the event, a commitment to free trade may be desirable even in settings where profit-shifting would be possible. We analyse the desirability of such a commitment when the government is well informed about firms’ types and actions, and when it suffers from an informational disadvantage.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 1784.

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Date of creation: Jan 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:1784

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Related research

Keywords: Export Promotion; Export Subsidies; policy commitment; Rules Versus Discretion; Strategic Trade Policy;

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References

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  1. Maggi, G & Rodriguez-Clare, A, 1996. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Papers 180, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Strategic Export Promotion in the Absence of Government Precommitment," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(2), pages 407-26, May.
  3. Schulman, Craig T, 1997. "Free Entry, Quasi-free Trade, and Strategic Export Policy," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 83-100, February.
  4. Qui, Larry D., 1994. "Optimal strategic trade policy under asymmetric information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(3-4), pages 333-354, May.
  5. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  6. Neary, J. Peter, 1994. "Cost asymmetries in international subsidy games: Should governments help winners or losers?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(3-4), pages 197-218, November.
  7. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Working Papers 518, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  8. Maggi, Giovanni, 1999. "Strategic Trade Policy under Incomplete Information," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(3), pages 571-94, August.
  9. Dixit, Avinash, 1979. "The Role of Investment in Entry-Deterrence," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 140, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Everaert, Greetje M.M., 2004. "The Political Economy of Restructuring and Subsidisation: An International Perspective," BOFIT Discussion Papers 12/2004, Bank of Finland, Institute for Economies in Transition.
  2. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2002. "GATT-think," Discussion Papers 0102-39, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Neary, J Peter, 1998. "Beat 'Em or Join 'Em?: Export Subsidies Versus International Research Joint Ventures in Oligopolistic Markets," CEPR Discussion Papers 1916, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Dermot Leahy & J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Robust Rules for Industrial Policy in open Economies," Working Papers 200021, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Delia Ionascu & Kresimir zigic, 2005. "Free trade versus strategic trade as a choice between two 'second best' policies: A symmetric versus asymmetric information analysis," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 417-446.
  6. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2002. "Time-To-Build Investment and Uncertainty in Oligopoly," Working Papers 200207, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. Delia Ionascu & Kresimir Zigic, 2001. "Strategic Trade Policy and Mode of Competition: Symmetric versus Asymmetric Information," International Trade 0106001, EconWPA.
  8. Dermot Leahy & J. Peter Neary, 2001. "Robust rules for industrial policy open economies," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 393-409.
  9. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot, 2001. "Rivalry in Uncertain Export Markets: Commitment versus Flexibility," CEPR Discussion Papers 2771, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Dewit, Gerda & Leahy, Dermot, 2006. "Investment timing under uncertainty in oligopoly: Symmetry or leadership?," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 1-19.
  11. Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2001. "Rivalry In Uncertain Export Markets: Commitment Versus Flexibility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n1050201, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.

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