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Does a ‘non-committed’ government always generate lower social welfare than its ‘committed’ counterpart? Strategic trade policy when consumer surplus matters

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  • Žigić, Krešimir

Abstract

We show that social welfare in the setup where the government lacks the full ability to commit to its trade policies may exceed the social welfare when the government possesses full commitment power if consumer surplus is part of the social welfare function. This is never the case in the standard, “third market” framework of strategic trade policy. We provide two examples in which consumer surplus matters: the “home market” and the “intra-industry trade” setup. The policy instruments under consideration are import tariffs and export subsidies and there are R&D spillovers from the domestic to the foreign firm.

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  • Žigić, Krešimir, 2011. "Does a ‘non-committed’ government always generate lower social welfare than its ‘committed’ counterpart? Strategic trade policy when consumer surplus matters," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 533-556.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jcecon:v:39:y:2011:i:4:p:533-556 DOI: 10.1016/j.jce.2011.03.006
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Government commitment; Social welfare; Optimal tariffs and export subsidies; R&D spillovers;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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