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A Customs Union with Multinational Firms: The Automobile Market in Argentina and Brazil

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  • Irene Brambilla

Abstract

This paper looks empirically into the behavior of multinational firms in international oligopolistic markets with trade balance constraints. I show how a particular form of non-tariff barrier applied at the firm level can lead to an increase in trade flows in the presence of intra-firm strategic trade. In my application, I estimate a model of demand, supply and trade policy in the automobile sector in Argentina and Brazil during 1996-1999. I measure the economic impact of a trade balance constraint that was in effect during that period and I compute predicted economic outcomes for the full adoption of a customs union, as has been agreed as part of the Mercosur negotiations, separating the sometimes opposing impacts of the removal of non-tariff barriers and the adoption of a common external tariff. Results show that the elimination of non-tariff barriers dominates the leveling of tariffs. Imports from outside of Mercosur increase under the new regime even though tariffs against these goods become more discriminatory, and exports from Brazil to Argentina decrease once the trade balance constraint is removed.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11745.

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Date of creation: Nov 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11745

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  1. Amil Petrin, 2002. "Quantifying the Benefits of New Products: The Case of the Minivan," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(4), pages 705-729, August.
  2. Steve Berry & Oliver B. Linton & Ariel Pakes, 2004. "Limit Theorems for Estimating the Parameters of Differentiated Product Demand Systems," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 613-654.
  3. Nevo, Aviv, 1999. "Measuring Market Power in the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," Competition Policy Center, Working Paper Series qt7cm5p858, Competition Policy Center, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
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  5. Berry, Steven & Levinsohn, James & Pakes, Ariel, 1995. "Automobile Prices in Market Equilibrium," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 841-90, July.
  6. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Verboven, Frank, 2001. "The Evolution of Price Dispersion in the European Car Market," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(4), pages 811-48, October.
  7. repec:cdl:compol:217 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Ariel Pakes, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," NBER Working Papers 1340, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou, 1995. "Product Differentiation and Oligopoly in International Markets: The Case of the U.S. Automobile Industry," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(4), pages 891-951, July.
  10. Robert C. Feenstra, 1984. "Voluntary Export Restraint in U.S. Autos, 1980-81: Quality, Employment, and Welfare Effects," NBER Chapters, in: The Structure and Evolution of Recent U.S. Trade Policy, pages 35-66 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  13. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  14. Aviv Nevo, 2000. "Mergers with Differentiated Products: The Case of the Ready-to-Eat Cereal Industry," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 31(3), pages 395-421, Autumn.
  15. Feenstra, Robert C, 1988. "Quality Change under Trade Restraints in Japanese Autos," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 131-46, February.
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Cited by:
  1. Catherine Thomas, 2011. "Too Many Products: Decentralized Decision Making in Multinational Firms," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(1), pages 280-306, February.
  2. Jorge Tovar, 2004. "The Welfare Effects Of Trade Liberalization: Evidence From The Car Industry In Colombia," DOCUMENTOS CEDE 003638, UNIVERSIDAD DE LOS ANDES-CEDE.

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