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Sub-national differentiation and the role of the firm in optimal international pricing

  • Balistreri, Edward J.
  • Markusen, James R.

We illuminate the relationship between optimal firm pricing and optimal trade policy by exploring a generalized model that accommodates product differentiation at both the national and sub-national (firm) levels. We assume monopolistic competition in the differentiated products at the sub-national level. When the national and sub-national substitution elasticities are similar we find little opportunity for small countries to improve their terms of trade through trade distortions, because firms play an important preemptive role in optimally pricing unique varieties. We contrast this with standard applications of perfect-competition Armington models, which exhibit high optimal tariffs--even for relatively small countries.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Economic Modelling.

Volume (Year): 26 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (January)
Pages: 47-62

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Handle: RePEc:eee:ecmode:v:26:y:2009:i:1:p:47-62
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/30411

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  1. Markusen, James R., 1990. "Derationalizing tariffs with specialized intermediate inputs and differentiated final goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 375-383, May.
  2. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 575, Autumn.
  3. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
  4. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-46, December.
  5. Drusilla K. Brown & Kozo Kiyota & Robert M. Stern, 2005. "Computational Analysis of the US FTAs with Central America, Australia and Morocco," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(10), pages 1441-1490, October.
  6. Brown, D.K. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1991. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and A Computational Assessment," Working Papers 289, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  7. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  8. Brown, Drusilla K., 1987. "Tariffs, the terms of trade, and national product differentiation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 503-526.
  9. Markusen, James R., 2002. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MPRA Paper 8380, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  10. Markusen, James R. & Melvin, James R. & Maskus, Keith E. & Kaempfer, William, 1995. "International trade: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 21989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Markusen, James R & Wigle, Randall M, 1989. "Nash Equilibrium Tariffs for the United States and Canada: The Roles of Country Size, Scale Economies, and Capital Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 368-86, April.
  12. Russell H. Hillberry & Michael A. Anderson & Edward J. Balistreri & Alan K. Fox, 2005. "Taste Parameters as Model Residuals: Assessing the "Fit" of an Armington Trade Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(5), pages 973-984, November.
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