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Contingent trade policy and economic efficiency

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  • Phillip McCALMAN
  • Frank STÄHLER
  • Gerald WILLMANN

Abstract

This paper develops an efficiency theory of contingent trade policies. We model the competition for a domestic market between one domestic and one foreign firm as a pricing game under incomplete information about production costs. The cost distributions are asymmetric because the foreign firm has to pay a trade cost. We show that the foreign firm prices more aggressively to overcome its cost disadvantage. The resulting possibility of an inefficient allocation justifies the use of contingent trade policy on efficiency grounds. Contingent trade policy that seeks to maximize global welfare can avoid the potential inefficiency. National governments, on the other hand, make excessive use of contingent trade policy due to rent shifting motives. The expected inefficiency of national policy is larger (smaller) for low (high) trade costs compared to the laissez-faire case. In general, there is no clear ranking between the laissez-faire outcome and a contingent national trade policy.

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Paper provided by Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën in its series Center for Economic Studies - Discussion papers with number ces11.05.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:ete:ceswps:ces11.05

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  1. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  2. Ronald D. Fischer & Thomas J. Prusa, 2003. "WTO Exceptions as Insurance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(5), pages 745-757, November.
  3. Robert W. Staiger & Frank A. Wolak, 1990. "The Effect of Domestic Antidumping Law in the Presence of Foreign Monopoly," NBER Working Papers 3254, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Dobrin R. Kolev & Thomas J. Prusa, 1999. "Dumping and Double Crossing: The (In)Effectiveness of Cost-Based Trade Policy Under Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 6986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Henrik Horn & Giovanni Maggi & Robert W. Staiger, 2010. "Trade Agreements as Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(1), pages 394-419, March.
  6. Xenia Matschke & Anja Schöttner, 2009. "Antidumping as Strategic Trade Policy Under Asymmetric Information," CESifo Working Paper Series 2536, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Miyagiwa, Kaz & Ohno, Yuka, 2007. "Dumping as a signal of innovation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 221-240, March.
  8. Chisik, Richard, 2003. "Gradualism in free trade agreements: a theoretical justification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 367-397, March.
  9. Anderson, James E, 1992. "Domino Dumping, I: Competitive Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 65-83, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Castillo, Leopoldo Laborda & Salem, Daniel Sotelsek & Guasch, Jose Luis, 2012. "Innovative and absorptive capacity of international knowledge : an empirical analysis of productivity sources in Latin American countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5931, The World Bank.

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