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Strategic Export Subsidies and Reciprocal Trade Agreements: The Natural Monopoly Case

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  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

Abstract

Why do governments seek restrictions on the use of export subsidies through reciprocal trade agreements such as GATT? With existing arguments, it is possible to understand GATT's restrictions on export subsidies as representing an inefficient victory of the interests of exporting governments over the interests of importing governments. However, to our knowledge, there does not exist a formal theoretical treatment that provides circumstances under which GATT's restrictions on export subsidies can be given a world-wide efficiency rationale. In this paper, we offer one such treatment in the context of a natural monopoly market. We emphasize that subsidy competition between governments can serve to coordinate the entry decisions of firms, finding that consumers in the importing countries may suffer if the coordination afforded exporters by government subsidy programs does more to prevent entry than to promote it. In such circumstances, we show that the existence of export subsidy programs can lead to inefficiencies, and importing countries and the world as a whole can be better off when such programs are banned.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5574.

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Date of creation: May 1996
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5574

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References

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  1. Varian, Hal R, 1980. "A Model of Sales," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(4), pages 651-59, September.
  2. Bagwell, Kyle & Ramey, Garey, 1994. "Coordination Economies, Advertising, and Search Behavior in Retail Markets," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 498-517, June.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1996. "Reciprocal Trade Liberalization," Discussion Papers 1150, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  4. repec:fth:stanho:e-92-1 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1992. "The Sensitivity of Strategic and Corrective R&D Policy in Battles for Monopoly," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(4), pages 795-816, November.
  6. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," NBER Working Papers 1192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 1236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-58, March.
  9. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dixit, Avinash K & Kyle, Albert S, 1985. "The Use of Protection and Subsidies for Entry Promotion and Deterrence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 139-52, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Konrad, Kai A., 2000. "Trade contests," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 317-334, August.
  2. Uwe Dulleck, 2005. "WTO's Anti-dumping Rule and the Protection of Incumbents," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(2), pages 229-239.
  3. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2001. "Reciprocity, non-discrimination and preferential agreements in the multilateral trading system," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 281-325, June.
  4. Huck, Steffen & Konrad, Kai A. & Müller, Wieland, 2000. "Merger in contests," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,3, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "Subsidy Agreements," NBER Working Papers 10292, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "Strategic trade, competitive industries and agricultural trade disputes," Working papers 11, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  7. Conconi, P., 2000. "Trade Bloc Formation Under Imperfect Competition," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 571, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  8. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Market reactions to export subsidies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 459-474, March.
  9. Jost, Peter-J., 2011. "Joint ventures in patent contests with spillovers and the role of strategic budgeting," Journal of Economics and Business, Elsevier, vol. 63(6), pages 605-637.
  10. David Collie, 2000. "A Rationale for the WTO Prohibition of Export Subsidies: Strategic Export Subsidies and World Welfare," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 229-245, July.

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