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New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications

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  • Marc J. Melitz
  • Stephen J. Redding

Abstract

We show that endogenous firm selection provides a new welfare margin for heterogeneous firm models of trade (relative to homogeneous firm models). Under some parameter restrictions, the trade elasticity is constant and is a sufficient statistic for welfare, along with the domestic trade share. However, even small deviations from these restrictions imply that trade elasticities are variable and differ across markets and levels of trade costs. In this more general setting, the domestic trade share and endogenous trade elasticity are no longer sufficient statistics for welfare. Additional empirically observable moments of the micro structure also matter for welfare. (JEL F12, F13, F41)

Suggested Citation

  • Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-1146, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:105:y:2015:i:3:p:1105-46
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.20130351
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 2018. "Restoring the product variety and pro-competitive gains from trade with heterogeneous firms and bounded productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 16-27.
    4. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    5. Novy, Dennis, 2013. "International trade without CES: Estimating translog gravity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 271-282.
    6. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Tomás Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 433-484, June.
    7. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    8. 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.
    9. 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.
    10. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2014. "Welfare and Trade without Pareto," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 310-316, May.
    11. 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.
    12. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    13. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics

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