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Optimal trade policy with monopolistic competition and heterogeneous firms

Listed author(s):
  • Haaland, Jan I.
  • Venables, Anthony J.

This paper derives optimal trade and domestic taxes for a small open economy containing a monopolistically competitive (MC) sector in which firms may have heterogeneous productivity levels. Analysis encompasses cases in which the domestic MC sector is able to expand or contract flexibly, or is constrained to be of fixed size. In the former case domestic protection can bring gains by increasing the number of product varieties on offer; these gains (and the corresponding rates of domestic subsidy or of import tariffs) are reduced by heterogeneity of foreign exporters some of whom may withdraw from the market. In the latter case gains from protection arise from terms-of-trade effects; since various margins of substitution are switched off, only the relative values of domestic taxes, import tariffs and export taxes matter. In general, policies work through both a terms-of-trade and a variety effect, and the paper shows how the relative importance of each depends on the structure of the economy.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022199616300782
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of International Economics.

Volume (Year): 102 (2016)
Issue (Month): C ()
Pages: 85-95

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Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:102:y:2016:i:c:p:85-95
DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2016.06.004
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552

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  1. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
  2. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2010. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 161-176, May.
  3. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2015. "Delocation and trade agreements in imperfectly competitive markets," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 132-156.
  4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
  5. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
  6. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
  7. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-1146, March.
  8. Crozet, Matthieu & Trionfetti, Federico, 2008. "Trade costs and the Home Market Effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 309-321, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Icebergs versus tariffs: A quantitative perspective on the gains from trade," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 53, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
  11. Campolmi, Alessia & Fadinger, Harald & Forlati, Chiara, 2014. "Trade policy: Home market effect versus terms-of-trade externality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 92-107.
  12. Venables, Anthony J., 1982. "Optimal tariffs for trade in monopolistically competitive commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(3-4), pages 225-241, May.
  13. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 13-25.
  14. Svetlana Demidova, 2008. "Productivity Improvements And Falling Trade Costs: Boon Or Bane?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1437-1462, November.
  15. repec:hrv:faseco:34299161 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. 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.
  17. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
  18. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  19. Arnaud Costinot & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare & Iván Werning, 2016. "Micro to Macro: Optimal Trade Policy with Firm Heterogeneity," NBER Working Papers 21989, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  21. Venables, Anthony J, 1987. "Trade and Trade Policy with Differentiated Products: A Chamberlinian-Ricardian Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 700-717, September.
  22. Ralph Ossa, 2011. "A "New Trade" Theory of GATT/WTO Negotiations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 122-152.
  23. repec:lmu:muenar:19542 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2015. "The welfare consequences of import tariffs: A quantitative perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 295-309.
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