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Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms

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  • Edward J. Balistreri
  • Russell H. Hillberry
  • Thomas F. Rutherford

Abstract

We present an empirical implementation of a general-equilibrium model of international trade with heterogeneous manufacturing firms. The theory underlying our model is consistent with Melitz (2003). A nonlinear structural estimation procedure identifies a set of core parameters and unobserved firm-level trade frictions that best fit the geographic pattern of trade. Once the parameters are identified, we utilize a decomposition technique for computing general-equilibrium counterfactuals. We first assess the economic effects of reductions in measured tariffs. Taking the simple-average welfare change across regions the Melitz structure indicates welfare gains from liberalization that are nearly four times larger than in a standard trade policy simulation. Furthermore, when we compare the economic impact of tariff reductions with reductions in estimated fixed trade costs we find that policy measures affecting the fixed costs are of greater importance than tariff barriers

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 1056.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:1056

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