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The importance of being small. Or when countries are areas and not points

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  • Tharakan, Joe
  • Thisse, Jacques-Francois

Abstract

Market size and transport costs are important ingredients of international trade. We propose to look at these issues from a different perspective. Using a Hotelling duopoly model with quadratic transport costs, we analyse the welfare effects of international trade between two countries that differ only in size. Our results indicate that in most cases free trade will lead to a decrease in prices. Furthermore, the firm of the small country will benefit from market expansion. Finally, the model predicts that the small country benefits from a move towards free trade whereas the opening to trade may hurt the large country.
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Suggested Citation

  • Tharakan, Joe & Thisse, Jacques-Francois, 2002. "The importance of being small. Or when countries are areas and not points," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 381-408, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:regeco:v:32:y:2002:i:3:p:381-408
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    Cited by:

    1. Inoue, Tomohiro & Kamijo, Yoshio & Tomaru, Yoshihiro, 2009. "Interregional mixed duopoly," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(2), pages 233-242, March.
    2. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter, 2007. "Outsourcing and trade in a spatial world," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3), pages 441-470, November.
    3. Matsumura Toshihiro & Matsushima Noriaki, 2010. "When Small Firms Fight Back Against Large Firms in R&D Activities," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-42, September.
    4. Gori, Giuseppe Francesco & Lambertini, Luca, 2013. "Trade liberalisation between asymmetric countries with environmentally concerned consumers," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 549-560.
    5. Kai Andree & Mike Schwan, 2012. "Collusive Market Sharing with Spatial Competition," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 32(4), pages 3357-3364.
    6. Egger, Hartmut & Egger, Peter, 2010. "The trade and welfare effects of mergers in space," Regional Science and Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(4), pages 210-220, July.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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