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Measuring the Gains from Trade under Monopolistic Competition

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  • Robert C. Feenstra

Abstract

Three sources of gains from trade under monopolistic competition are: (i) new import varieties available to consumers; (ii) enhanced efficiency as more productive firms begin exporting and less productive firms exit; (iii) reduced markups charged by firms due to import competition. The first source of gains can be measured as new goods in a CES utility function for consumers. We argue that the second source is formally analogous to the producer gain from new goods, with a constant-elasticity transformation curve for the economy. We suggest that the third source of gain can be measured using a translog expenditure function for consumers, which in contrast to the CES case, allows for finite reservation prices for new goods and endogenous markups.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 15593.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Publication status: published as Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15593

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  1. Christian Broda & David Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the gains from variety," Staff Reports 180, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  2. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  3. James R. Melvin, 1969. "Increasing Returns to Scale as a Determinant of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 389-402, August.
  4. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  5. Spence, Michael, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(2), pages 217-35, June.
  6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
  7. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
  8. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2013. "Firm entry, trade, and welfare in Zipf's world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 283-296.
  9. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Baldwin, Richard & Forslid, Rikard, 2004. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  12. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  13. Feenstra, Robert & Kee, Hiau Looi, 2008. "Export variety and country productivity: Estimating the monopolistic competition model with endogenous productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 500-518, March.
  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. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  16. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
  17. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
  18. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, 2009. "Pass-Through of Exchange Rates and Competition between Floaters and Fixers," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 41(s1), pages 35-70, 02.
  19. Lancaster, Kelvin, 1980. "Intra-industry trade under perfect monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 151-175, May.
  20. 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.
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