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Firm Heterogeneity and the Two Sources of Gains from Trade

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  • Itai Agur

Abstract

Recent empirical work identi.es two main channels through which consumers benefit from trade. Trade liberalization lowers prices, while it raises product variety. This paper develops the first model that connects both channels and interprets their interaction. It shows that heterogeneity in firm productivity is the source behind both. Upon liberalization efficient exporters enter, pushing out the least efficient domestic firms. Two countervailing forces emerge, both stylized facts. Liberalization leaves a moreconcentrated market. But exporters o¤er more variety than the .rms that they replace. Remarkably, total variety unambiguously increases. Exploration of comparative statics leads to an intuitive explanation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by European University Institute in its series Economics Working Papers with number ECO2006/38.

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Date of creation: 2006
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Handle: RePEc:eui:euiwps:eco2006/38

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Keywords: Trade; Firm selection; Product Variety; Heterogeneous firms;

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  1. Paul Allanson & Catia Montagna, 1999. "Multiproduct Firms and Market Structure: An Explorative Application to the Product Life Cycle," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 101, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  2. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Christian Broda & David W. Weinstein, 2004. "Variety Growth and World Welfare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 139-144, May.
  4. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Juan A. Máñez & María E. Rochina-Barrachina & Juan A. Sanchis, 2008. "Sunk Costs Hysteresis in Spanish Manufacturing Exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 144(2), pages 272-294, July.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2005. "Importers, Exporters, and Multinationals: A Portrait of Firms in the U.S. that Trade Goods," Working Paper Series WP05-10, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
  7. Jorge Tovar, 2004. "The Welfare Effects Of Trade Liberalization: Evidence From The Car Industry In Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003638, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.
  8. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  9. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2006. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," NBER Working Papers 12192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Ralf Ruhwedel & Michael Funke, 2004. "Trade, Product Variety and Welfare: A Quantitative Assessment for the Transition Economies in Central and Eastern Europe," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20401, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  11. Brambilla, Irene, 2009. "Multinationals, technology, and the introduction of varieties of goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 89-101, September.
  12. 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.
  13. Daniel Mirza, 2006. "How Much Does Trade Contribute to Market Structure?," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 73(289), pages 59-74, 02.
  14. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  15. David Greenaway & Richard Kneller, 2007. "Firm heterogeneity, exporting and foreign direct investment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 117(517), pages F134-F161, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2006. "Multi-Product Firms and Trade Liberalization," CEP Discussion Papers dp0769, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.

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