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Trade policies, firm heterogeneity, and variable markups

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  • Demidova, Svetlana

Abstract

We study unilateral trade liberalization in a model of monopolistic competition with heterogeneous firms, endogenous wages, and non-separable and non-homothetic quadratic preferences that generate variable markups. We show that the optimal level of the revenue-generating import tariff is strictly positive so that protection is always desirable, whether the liberalizing economy is large or small. Yet, reductions in cost-shifting trade barriers are welfare-improving, making free trade optimal. Finally, we show that in both cases, variable markups result in negative pro-competitive effects, reducing gains from trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Demidova, Svetlana, 2017. "Trade policies, firm heterogeneity, and variable markups," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 260-273.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:108:y:2017:i:c:p:260-273
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2017.05.011
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    3. Yanase, Akihiko & Tsubuku, Masafumi, 2022. "Trade costs and free trade agreements: Implications for tariff complementarity and welfare," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 78(C), pages 23-37.
    4. Bagwell, Kyle & Lee, Seung Hoon, 2020. "Trade policy under monopolistic competition with firm selection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 127(C).
    5. Hayakawa, Kazunobu & Ito, Tadashi & Mukunoki, Hiroshi, 2022. "Lerner meets Metzler: Tariff pass-through of worldwide trade," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 63(C).
    6. Ziran Ding, 2021. "Optimal Tariffs with Firm Heterogeneity, Variable Markups, and FDI," Bank of Lithuania Working Paper Series 99, Bank of Lithuania.
    7. Arnaud Costinot & Andrés Rodríguez‐Clare & Iván Werning, 2020. "Micro to Macro: Optimal Trade Policy With Firm Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(6), pages 2739-2776, November.
    8. Kokovin, Sergey & Parenti, Mathieu & Thisse, Jacques-Fran�ois & Ushchev, Philip, 2017. "On the Dilution of Market Power," CEPR Discussion Papers 12367, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    9. Weinberger, Ariel, 2020. "Markups and misallocation with evidence from exchange rate shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 146(C).
    10. Takumi Naito, 2021. "Can The Optimal Tariff Be Zero For A Growing Large Country?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1237-1280, August.
    11. ARA Tomohiro, 2021. "Competition, Productivity and Trade, Reconsidered," Discussion papers 21032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    12. Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Salto, Matteo, 2019. "Geography, competition, and optimal multilateral trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 145-161.
    13. Ziran Ding, 2022. "Firm heterogeneity, variable markups, and multinational production: A review from trade policy perspective," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 1311-1357, December.
    14. Sravaitri CHAUDHURI, 2020. "Welfare enhancing uncertainty," Theoretical and Applied Economics, Asociatia Generala a Economistilor din Romania - AGER, vol. 0(4(625), W), pages 73-88, Winter.
    15. José M. Gaspar, 2018. "A prospective review on New Economic Geography," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer;Western Regional Science Association, vol. 61(2), pages 237-272, September.
    16. Ariel Weinberger & Qian Xuefeng & Mahmut Yaşar, 2021. "Export tax rebates and resource misallocation: Evidence from a large developing country," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 54(4), pages 1562-1608, November.
    17. Luca Macedoni & Ariel Weinberger, 2021. "Quality Misallocation, Trade, and Regulations," CESifo Working Paper Series 9041, CESifo.
    18. Natalya Ayzenberg & Igor Bykadorov & Sergey Kokovin, 2018. "Optimal Reciprocal Import Tariffs Under Variable Elasticity Of Substitution," HSE Working papers WP BRP 204/EC/2018, National Research University Higher School of Economics.
    19. Atsushi Tadokoro, 2020. "Tariff policies, variable markups, and within-sector missallocation," Discussion Papers in Economics and Business 20-16, Osaka University, Graduate School of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Variable markups; Firm heterogeneity; Trade liberalization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms

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