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 Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2004 Meeting Papers with number 530.
Date of creation: 2004
Date of revision:
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Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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Gains from Trade; Imperfect competition; New goods bias; Variety Growth;
Other versions of this item:
- 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.
- Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
- F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order; Noneconomic International Organizations;; Economic Integration and Globalization: General
- F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
- F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-08-02 (All new papers)
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