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Productivity Improvements And Falling Trade Costs: Boon Or Bane?

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  • Svetlana Demidova

Abstract

This article looks at two features of globalization, namely, productivity improvements and falling trade costs, and explores their effect on welfare in a monopolistic competition model with heterogenous firms and technological asymmetries. Contrary to received wisdom, and for reasons different from adverse terms of trade effects, it is shown that improvements in a partner's productivity must hurt us. Moreover, falling trade costs can raise welfare in the technologically advanced country while reducing it in the backward one, if technological asymmetries are large enough. Copyright © (2008) by the Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:49:y:2008:i:4:p:1437-1462
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    1. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    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. Fabio Ghironi & Marc J. Melitz, 2005. "International Trade and Macroeconomic Dynamics with Heterogeneous Firms," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(3), pages 865-915.
    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. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    6. 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.
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