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Endogenous ranking and equilibrium Lorenz curve across (ex-ante) identical countries: A generalization

Listed author(s):
  • Matsuyama, Kiminori

This paper proposes a symmetry-breaking model of trade with a finite number of identical countries and a continuum of tradeable consumption goods, which differ in their dependence on nontradeable intermediate inputs, “producer services”. Productivity of each country is endogenous due to country-specific external economies of scale in its service sector. It is shown that, in any stable equilibrium, the countries sort themselves into specializing in different sets of tradeable goods and that a strict ranking of countries in per capita income, TFP, the service sector share, and the capital–labor ratio emerge endogenously. Furthermore, the distribution of country shares, the Lorenz curve, is unique and analytically solvable in the limit, as the number of countries grows unbounded. Using this limit as an approximation allows us to study what determines the shape of distribution, perform various comparative statics and to evaluate the welfare effects of trade. In doing so, this paper extends the analysis of Matsuyama (Econometrica, 81:5 (September 2013), 2009–2031) for more general and flexible forms of scale economies. It turns out that the technique introduced in Matsuyama (Econometrica, 81:5 (September 2013), 2009–2031) is useful for the equilibrium characterization in this general case as well. Although some results of comparative statics and on welfare inevitably need to be modified, they change in ways that illuminate the underlying mechanism of symmetry-breaking.

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File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1090944313000471
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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Research in Economics.

Volume (Year): 68 (2014)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 95-111

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Handle: RePEc:eee:reecon:v:68:y:2014:i:2:p:95-111
DOI: 10.1016/j.rie.2013.10.001
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/622941

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  1. Kiminori Matsuyama, 2002. "The Rise of Mass Consumption Societies," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 110(5), pages 1035-1070, October.
  2. Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 1995. "Globalization and the Inequality of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(4), pages 857-880.
  3. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics,in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
  4. repec:hhs:iuiwop:430 is not listed on IDEAS
  5. Dornbusch, Rudiger & Fischer, Stanley & Samuelson, Paul A, 1977. "Comparative Advantage, Trade, and Payments in a Ricardian Model with a Continuum of Goods," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 823-839, December.
  6. 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.
  7. Arnaud Costinot, 2009. "An Elementary Theory of Comparative Advantage," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1165-1192, 07.
  8. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1996. "Why Are There Rich and Poor Countries? Symmetry-Breaking in the World Economy," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 10(4), pages 419-439, December.
  9. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "Decreasing Costs in International Trade and Frank Graham's Argument for Protection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1243-1268, September.
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