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Welfare and Trade Without Pareto

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  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Département d'économie)

  • Mathias Thoenig

    (Centre Universitaire d'Informatique)

Abstract

This paper investigates the consequences of replacing the assumption of Pareto heterogeneity with log-normal heterogeneity. This case is interesting because it (a) maintains some desirable analytic features of Pareto, (b) ts the complete distribution of rm sales rather than just approximating the right tail, and (c) can be generated under equally plausible processes (see online appendix). The log-normal is reasonably tractable but its use sacrices some \scale-free" properties conveyed by the Pareto distribution. Aspects of the the calibration that do not matter under Pareto lead to important dierences in the gains from trade under log-normal.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po Departement of Economics in its series Sciences Po Economics Discussion Papers with number 2014-02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p2m9j4i07

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  1. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," NBER Working Papers 14610, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  3. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
  4. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko & Romain Ranciere, 2010. "Power Laws in Firm Size and Openness to Trade: Measurement and Implications," Working Papers 598, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
  6. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2007. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," NBER Working Papers 12927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare & Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," 2010 Meeting Papers 433, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
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