IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Sunk Costs, Market Access, Economic Integration and Welfare


  • Owen, Robert F
  • Ulph, David


The nature of the equilibrium that arises after economic integration is shown to depend crucially on how initial entry costs are divided along two separate dimensions: market access versus technology costs, and fixed versus sunk costs. There are three post-integration equilibrium regimes: a traditional trade theory regime which arises when both market access costs and fixed costs are small, a new trade theory regime which arises when market access costs are small but fixed costs are high, and a market access regime which arises when market access costs are high. While the first two regimes have already appeared in the literature, the third is new. The sign, magnitude, and qualitative behavior of the welfare effects of integration across all three regimes depend on the configuration of these costs. Copyright 2002 by Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Owen, Robert F & Ulph, David, 2002. "Sunk Costs, Market Access, Economic Integration and Welfare," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(3), pages 539-555, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:10:y:2002:i:3:p:539-55

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Krishna, Kala & Erzan, Refik & Tan, Ling Hui, 1994. "Rent Sharing in the Multi-fibre Arrangement: Theory and Evidence from U.S. Apparel Imports from Hong Kong," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(1), pages 62-73, February.
    2. Levy, Santiago & van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1995. "Transition Problems in Economic Reform: Agriculture in the North American Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 738-754, September.
    3. Peter A. Diamond & J. A. Mirrlees, 1968. "Optimal Taxation and Public Production," Working papers 22, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    4. Fukushima, Takashi, 1981. "A dynamic quantity adjustment process in a small open economy, and welfare effects of tariff changes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 513-529, November.
    5. Mitra, Pradeep K., 1992. "Tariff design and reform in a revenue-constrained economy: Theory and an illustration from India," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 227-251, March.
    6. Tatsuo Hatta, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21.
    7. James E. Anderson, 1996. "Trade Reform with a Government Budget Constraint," NBER Working Papers 5827, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Abe, Kenzo, 1992. "Tariff Reform in a Small Open Economy with Public Production," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 33(1), pages 209-222, February.
    9. Hatzipanayotou, Panos & Michael, Michael S. & Miller, Stephen M., 1994. "Win-win indirect tax reform : A modest proposal," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 147-151.
    10. Lopez, Ramon & Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "On the Theory of Piecemeal Tariff Reform: The Case of Pure Imported Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 615-625, June.
    11. Keen, Michael & Ligthart, Jenny E., 2002. "Coordinating tariff reduction and domestic tax reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 489-507, March.
    12. חנה וייל, 1995. "סיעוד במגזר הערבי," Working Papers 397, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    13. אסתר טולידנו, 1995. "מקבלי דמי אבטלה בשנת 1994," Working Papers 444, National Insurance Institute of Israel.
    14. Ahmad, Ehtisham & Stern, Nicholas, 1990. "Tax Reform and Shadow Prices for Pakistan," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(1), pages 135-159, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Charlie Karlsson & Gunther Maier & Michaela Trippl & Iulia Siedschlag & Gavin Murphy, 2010. "ICT and Regional Economic Dynamics: A Literature Review," JRC Working Papers JRC59920, Joint Research Centre (Seville site).
    2. Cadot, Olivier & Dutoit, Laure & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2005. "How Costly is it for Poor Farmers to Lift Themselves out of Subsistence?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5392, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Bhattacharjee, Arnab & Hany, Jie, 2010. "Financial Distress in Chinese Industry: Microeconomic, Macroeconomic and Institutional Infuences," SIRE Discussion Papers 2010-53, Scottish Institute for Research in Economics (SIRE).
    4. Bhattacharjee, Arnab & Han, Jie, 2014. "Financial distress of Chinese firms: Microeconomic, macroeconomic and institutional influences," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(C), pages 244-262.
    5. Cadot, Olivier & Dutoit, Laure & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2006. "How costly is it for poor farmers to lift themselves out of poverty?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3881, The World Bank.
    6. Ido Kallir & Tamir Agmon, 2015. "Valuating the Value and Risk of International Start-up Ventures," International Journal of Financial Research, International Journal of Financial Research, Sciedu Press, vol. 6(2), pages 203-217, April.
    7. Pannone, Andrea, 2010. "Production, unemployment and wage flexibility in an ICT-assisted economy: A model," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 219-230, August.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:10:y:2002:i:3:p:539-55. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing) or (Christopher F. Baum). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.