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Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition

  • Robert C. Feenstra

Three sources of gains from trade under monopolistic competition are (i) new import varieties available to consumers; (ii) enhanced efficiency as more productive firms begin exporting and less productive firms exit; (iii) reduced markups charged by firms due to import competition. The first source of gains can be measured as new goods in a CES utility function for consumers. We argue that the second source is formally analogous to the producer gain from new goods, with a constant-elasticity transformation curve for the economy. We suggest that the third source of gain can be measured using a translog expenditure function for consumers, which, in contrast to the CES case, allows for finite reservation prices for new goods and endogenous markups.

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

Volume (Year): 43 (2010)
Issue (Month): 1 (February)
Pages: 1-28

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:43:y:2010:i:1:p:1-28
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  1. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  2. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
  4. Paul R. Bergin & Robert C. Feenstra, 2007. "Pass-through of Exchange Rates and Competition Between Floaters and Fixers," NBER Working Papers 13620, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Head, Keith & Ries, John, 1999. "Rationalization effects of tariff reductions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 295-320, April.
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  8. Frank D. Graham, 1923. "Some Aspects of Protection Further Considered," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 37(2), pages 199-227.
  9. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
  10. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2010. "Firm Entry, Trade, and Welfare in Zipf's World," NBER Working Papers 16313, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
  13. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  15. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
  16. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
  17. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  18. Feenstra, Robert & Kee, Hiau Looi, 2008. "Export variety and country productivity: Estimating the monopolistic competition model with endogenous productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 500-518, March.
  19. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  20. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  21. James R. Melvin, 1969. "Increasing Returns to Scale as a Determinant of Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 2(3), pages 389-402, August.
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