Globalization and the Gains from Variety
AbstractSince the seminal work of Krugman (1979), product variety has played a central role in models of trade and growth. In spite of the general use of love-of-variety models, there has been no systematic study of how the import of new varieties has contributed to national welfare gains in the United States. In this paper we show that the unmeasured growth in product variety from US imports has been an important source of gains from trade over the last three decades (1972-2001). Using extremely disaggregated data, we show that the number of imported product varieties has increased by a factor of four. We also estimate the elasticities of substitution for each available category at the same level of aggregation, and describe their behavior across time and SITC-5 industries. Using these estimates we develop an exact price index and find that the upward bias in the conventional import price index is approximately 1.2 percent per year. The magnitude of this bias suggests that the welfare gains from variety growth in imports alone are 2.8 percent of GDP.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 10314.
Date of creation: Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Broda, Christian and David E. Weinstein. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Quarterly Journal of Economics, 2006, v121(2,May), 541-585.
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Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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Other versions of this item:
- David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
- David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Christian Broda & David Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
- David E. Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization And The Gains From Variety," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 327, Econometric Society.
- F1 - International Economics - - Trade
- E3 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-02-29 (All new papers)
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