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Global Gains from Reduction of Trade Costs

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  • Han QI

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Haichao Fan

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)

  • Edwin Lai

    (Hong Kong University of Science and Tech)

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    Abstract

    We derive a simple equation to calculate the global welfare impact of the simultaneous reduction of trade costs between multiple country-pairs. Interestingly, we find that we obtain the same equation for a broad class of trade models. Moreover, balanced trade is mostly not required for the equation to work, nor does trade elasticity need to be known. The global welfare impact only depends on two sets of statistics: (i) the ratio of bilateral trade flow between each pair of trading partners and global income; and (ii) the percentage change in exporting cost for each pair of trading partners. The class of models includes the many-country, many-good neo-classical-type model, and the Armington-type models such as Eaton and Kortum (2002), Krugman (1980), Melitz (2003) with Pareto distribution of firm productivity, and the extensions of these models to the multi-country and multi-sector case, multi-factor production technology, multi-stage production, the existence of intermediate good and the existence of a non-traded good sector in each country. We then apply the equation to estimate the global welfare impact of the worldwide reduction of international shipping costs in the last five decades.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2013 Meeting Papers with number 1283.

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    Date of creation: 2013
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed013:1283

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    1. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2008. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," Department of Economics - Working Papers Series 1056, The University of Melbourne.
    2. Daniel Yi Xu, 2013. "Competition, Markups, and the Gains from International Trade," 2013 Meeting Papers 653, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    3. Kei-Mu Yi, 2003. "Can Vertical Specialization Explain the Growth of World Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 52-102, February.
    4. Davin Chor, 2008. "Unpacking Sources of Comparative Advantage : A Quantitative Approach," Macroeconomics Working Papers 22071, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
    5. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2010. "Globalization, Technology, and the Skill Premium: A Quantitative Analysis," NBER Working Papers 16459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
    7. Chang-Tai Hsieh & Ralph Ossa, 2011. "A Global View of Productivity Growth in China," NBER Working Papers 16778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Dave Donaldson, 2010. "Railroads of the Raj: Estimating the Impact of Transportation Infrastructure," NBER Working Papers 16487, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Ivana Komunjer, 2012. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? A Quantitative Exploration of Ricardo's Ideas," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 581-608.
    10. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," NBER Working Papers 13846, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
    12. Kei-Mu Yi, 2008. "Can multi-stage production explain the home bias in trade?," Working Papers 08-12, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    13. Haichao Fan & Edwin L.-C. Lai & Han Steffan Qi, 2011. "A Model of Trade with Ricardian Comparative Advantage and Intra-sectoral Firm Heterogeneity," CESifo Working Paper Series 3634, CESifo Group Munich.
    14. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    15. David L. Hummels & Georg Schaur, 2013. "Time as a Trade Barrier," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2935-59, December.
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