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Inequality and trade

  • Devashish Mitra
  • Vitor Trindade

We incorporate demand-side considerations in trade in a systematic but straightforward way. We do so by focusing on the role of inequality in the determination of trade flows and patterns. With non-homothetic preferences, when countries are similar in all respects but asset inequality, we find that trade is driven by specialization in , not production. Besides, these assumptions allow us to generate some interesting international spillover effects of redistributive policies. Finally, we study a model of monopolistic competition and find a novel V-shaped relationship between the ratio of inter-industry to intra-industry trade and a country's inequality.

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Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 38 (2005)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 1253-1271

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:38:y:2005:i:4:p:1253-1271
Contact details of provider: Postal: Canadian Economics Association Prof. Steven Ambler, Secretary-Treasurer c/o Olivier Lebert, CEA/CJE/CPP Office C.P. 35006, 1221 Fleury Est Montréal, Québec, Canada H2C 3K4
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  1. Mani, Anandi, 2001. " Income Distribution and the Demand Constraint," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 107-33, June.
  2. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  3. Muhammed Dalgin & Vitor Trindade & Devashish Mitra, 2008. "Inequality, Nonhomothetic Preferences, and Trade: A Gravity Approach," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 747-774, January.
  4. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1999. "A Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods under Non-homothetic Preferences: Demand Complementarities, Income Distribution, and North-South Trade," Discussion Papers 1241, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  5. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
  6. Kevin M. Murphy & Andrei Shleifer & Robert Vishny, 1988. "Income Distribution, Market Size, and Industrialization," NBER Working Papers 2709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Markusen, James R, 1986. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1002-11, December.
  8. Francois, Joseph F & Kaplan, Seth, 1996. "Aggregate Demand Shifts, Income Distribution, and the Linder Hypothesis," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 244-50, May.
  9. Thursby, Jerry G & Thursby, Marie C, 1987. "Bilateral Trade Flows, the Linder Hypothesis, and Exchange Risk," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 69(3), pages 488-95, August.
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