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Strategic R&D Commitment and the Gains from Trade


  • Gerda Dewit
  • Dermot Leahy


This paper examines how trade liberalisation affects innovation, profits and welfare in a reciprocal markets model when firms pre-commit to R&D investment. First, we show that, for a range of trade costs, there are multiple equilibria, implying that the path of trade liberalisation is not unique. Second, welfare at “incipient” trade always exceeds welfare in autarky. Third, we show that, if the effectiveness of R&D is sufficiently high, trade always yields higher welfare than autarky. These new results suggests that when firms, operating in an oligopolistic environment, strategically precommit to R&D, the welfare gains from trade liberalisation are enhanced.
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Suggested Citation

  • Gerda Dewit & Dermot Leahy, 2016. "Strategic R&D Commitment and the Gains from Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 1129-1148, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reviec:v:24:y:2016:i:5:p:1129-1148

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    References listed on IDEAS

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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
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets


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