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Establishment heterogeneity, exporter dynamics, and the effects of trade liberalization

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  • George Alessandria
  • Horag Choi

Abstract

The authors study the effects of tariffs in a dynamic variation of the Melitz (2003) model, a monopolistically competitive model with heterogeneity in productivity across establishments and fixed costs of exporting. With fixed costs of starting to export that are on average 3.7 times as large as the costs incurred to continue as an exporter, the model can match both the size distribution of exporters and annual transition in and out of exporting among US manufacturing establishments. The authors find that the tariff equivalent of these fixed costs is nearly 30 percentage points. They use the calibrated model to estimate the effect of reducing tariffs on welfare, trade, and export participation. The authors find sizeable gains to moving to free trade equivalent to 1.03 percent of steady state consumption. Considering the transition dynamics following the cut in tariffs, they find that the model predicts economic activity overshoots its steady state, with the peak in output coming 10 years after the trade reform. Because of this overshooting, steady state changes in consumption understate the welfare gain to trade reform. The authors also find simpler trade models that abstract from these export dynamics provide a poor approximation of the aggregate responses from our more general model.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia in its series Working Papers with number 11-19.

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Date of creation: 2011
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:11-19

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Keywords: International trade ; Tariff;

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References

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  1. George Alessandria & Joseph Kaboski & Virgiliu Midrigan, 2008. "Inventories, lumpy trade, and large devaluations," Working Paper Series 2008-24, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  2. Dunne, T. & Roberts, M.J. & Samuelson, L., 1988. "The Growth And Failure Of U.S. Manufacturing Plants," Papers 1-87-5, Pennsylvania State - Department of Economics.
  3. Baldwin, Richard & Forslid, Rikard, 2004. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. 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.
  5. Bernard, A., 1997. "Exceptional Exporter Performance: Cause, Effect, or Both?," Working papers 97-21, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Jonathan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia:Firm-Level Evidence," BORRADORES DE ECONOMIA 003957, BANCO DE LA REPÚBLICA.
  7. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Tomás Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 433-484, 06.
  8. Richard Baldwin & Paul R. Krugman, 1986. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchage Rate Shocks," NBER Working Papers 2017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  10. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  12. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2005. "Do sunk costs of exporting matter for net export dynamics?," Working Papers 05-20, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  13. Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger & John Baldwin, 1994. "A Comparison of Job Creation and Job Destruction in Canada and the United States," Working Papers 94-2, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  14. Aubhik Khan & Julia K. Thomas, 2008. "Idiosyncratic Shocks and the Role of Nonconvexities in Plant and Aggregate Investment Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(2), pages 395-436, 03.
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  16. Kei-Mu Yi, 2000. "Can vertical specialization explain the growth of world trade?," Staff Reports 96, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  17. Baldwin, Richard E. & Robert-Nicoud, Frederic, 2008. "Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 21-34, January.
  18. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585, May.
  19. Robert Lucas & Mike Golosov, 2004. "Menu Costs and Phillips Curves," 2004 Meeting Papers 144, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  20. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Establishment heterogeneity, exporter dynamics, and the effects of trade liberalization," Working Papers 07-17, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  21. Esteban Rossi-Hansberg & Mark L. J. Wright, 2007. "Establishment Size Dynamics in the Aggregate Economy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 1639-1666, December.
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  24. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  25. Steven J. Davis & John C. Haltiwanger & Scott Schuh, 1998. "Job Creation and Destruction," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262540932.
  26. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  27. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Jhonatan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, . "Export Growth in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Borradores de Economia 446, Banco de la Republica de Colombia.
  29. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Hysteresis, Import Penetration, and Exchange Rate Pass-Through," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 104(2), pages 205-28, May.
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