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Expansion of Trade at the Extensive Margin: A General Gains-from-Trade Result and Illustrative Examples

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  • Markusen, James R.

Abstract

The basic gains-from-trade theorem makes a stark comparison between completely free trade and complete autarky. This paper is motivated by recent evidence that trade has greatly expanded on the extensive margin (aka fragmentation, offshoring) by adding newly traded goods and services and that much of this new trade is in intermediates. I provide an extension of existing gains-from-trade results by allowing trade in an added set of final and/or intermediate goods. As seems generally understood, a sufficient condition for all countries to gain from fragmentation is that the relative world prices of initially-trade goods don't change. However, trade costs break the strict link between domestic and world prices in my approach and this results in interesting subtleties as initially-traded goods change their trade status following fragmentation. I illustrate these results by applying them to two recent and quite specific formulations of expansion at the extensive margin: Grossman and Rossi-Hansberg (2008) and Markusen and Venables (2007). Symmetry in two senses results in gains for all countries: countries are relatively symmetric in size and the newly-traded goods are relatively symmetric in their factor intensities with respect to the world endowment ratio.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7802.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7802

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Related research

Keywords: extensive margin; fragmentation; offshoring; trade in tasks; vertical specialization;

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References

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  1. David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
  2. David Hummels & Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1999. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Staff Reports 72, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 2007. "Interacting factor endowments and trade costs: A multi-country, multi-good approach to trade theory," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 333-354, November.
  4. Steven Brakman & Harry Garretsen (ed.), 2008. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Multinational Enterprise," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262026457, December.
  5. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358 - 392.
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  7. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. H. Hanson, Gordon, 2005. "Market potential, increasing returns and geographic concentration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 1-24, September.
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  10. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
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  13. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, December.
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  16. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2010. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An Integrating Framework," CEPR Discussion Papers 7775, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. 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.
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  22. Markusen, James R., 2005. "Modeling the Offshoring of White-Collar Services: From Comparative Advantage to the New Theories of Trade and FDI," CEPR Discussion Papers 5408, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  23. Markusen, James R., 1983. "Factor movements and commodity trade as complements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(3-4), pages 341-356, May.
  24. Dixit, Avinash, 1985. "Tax policy in open economies," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 313-374 Elsevier.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Richard Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2010. "Trade-in-goods and trade-in-tasks: An Integrating Framework," NBER Working Papers 15882, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Türkcan, Kemal, 2014. "Investigating the Role of Extensive Margin, Intensive Margin, Price and Quantity Components on Turkey’s Export Growth during 1998-2011," MPRA Paper 53292, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Coughlin, Cletus C., 2014. "Determinants of trade margins: insights using state export data," Working Papers 2014-6, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
  4. Kohler, Wilhelm & Wrona, Jens, 2011. "Offshoring tasks, yet creating jobs?," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 12, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  5. Cletus C. Coughlin, 2012. "Extensive and intensive trade margins: a state-by-state view," Working Papers 2012-002, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

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