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Trade and industrial structure with large firms and heterogeneity

  • Bekkers, Eddy
  • Francois, Joseph

We develop a model of trade and firm heterogeneity in an oligopolistic setting. This setting generates key differences in terms of modelling setup, modelling predictions and welfare implications with respect to the existing literature on trade and firm heterogeneity. In terms of modelling setup our approach allows us to explore interaction between potentially large heterogeneous firms, in contrast to recent trade literature with heterogeneity and atomistic firms. As a result variables like market price and total sales vary endogenously as different firms enter the market. We offer a solution for the integer problem inherent in small group models, based on stochastic dominance. The model generates testable predictions deviating from the benchmark firm heterogeneity model of Melitz (2003) in terms of the effect of trade liberalisation on markups, market shares, the market price. We also derive predictions on the effect of distance and market size on the probability of zero trade flows and export prices. Our model features the possibility that welfare declines as a result of trade liberalisation. The result in Brander and Krugman (1983), the benchmark model for trade under oligopoly, that welfare unambiguously rises with free entry and might decline without free entry due to increased cross-hauling is reversed. In a setting with heterogeneous instead of homogeneous firms, welfare might decline with free entry. A negative welfare effect without free entry can be ruled out if the firm size distribution is sufficiently dispersed.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal European Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 60 (2013)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 69-90

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Handle: RePEc:eee:eecrev:v:60:y:2013:i:c:p:69-90
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  1. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2004. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 599, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Long, Ngo Van & Raff, Horst & Stähler, Frank, 2011. "Innovation and trade with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(2), pages 149-159, July.
  3. James Brander & Paul Krugman, 1980. "A "Reciprocal Dumping" Model of International Trade," Working Papers 405, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  4. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Kee, Hiau Looi & Hoekman, Bernard, 2003. "Imports, entry, and competition law as market disciplines," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3031, The World Bank.
  6. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2013. "Firm entry, trade, and welfare in Zipf's world," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 283-296.
  7. Friberg, Richard & Ganslandt, Mattias, 2006. "An empirical assessment of the welfare effects of reciprocal dumping," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-24, September.
  8. Carlos Arteta & Barry Eichengreen & Charles Wyplosz, 2001. "When Does Capital Account Liberalization Help More than It Hurts?," NBER Working Papers 8414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2008. "Pricing-to-market, trade costs, and international relative prices," Staff Report 404, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  10. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  11. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
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  15. Andrew B. Bernard, 2004. "Exporting and Productivity in the USA," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(3), pages 343-357, Autumn.
  16. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Bandyopadhyay, Subhayu, 1997. "Demand elasticities, asymmetry and strategic trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 167-177, February.
  18. Besedes, Tibor & Prusa, Thomas J., 2006. "Product differentiation and duration of US import trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-358, December.
  19. Hoekman Bernard & Kee Hiau Looi & Olarreaga Marcelo, 2004. "Tariffs, Entry Regulation and Markups: Country Size Matters," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, September.
  20. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
  21. Van Long, N. & Soubeyran, A., 1996. "Cost Heterogeneity, Industry Concentration and Startegic Trade Policies," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 96a39, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  22. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
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