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International Trade and Firms' Heterogeneity under Monopolistic Competition

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  • Sébastien Jean

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Abstract

This article studies the interactions between international trade and firms' heterogeneity by proposing a tractable model consistent with the stylised facts. The model describes, in a general equilibrium framework, two economies producing and trading two goods, one homogeneous and the other differentiated. In the differentiated-good sector, firms are heterogeneous by their marginal cost, in a context of monopolistic competition with free-entry and exit. They incur a fixed production cost, but also a fixed cost if they choose to export. We show that trade in differentiated goods increases industry-wide efficiency, through two different logics: one defensive and import-driven; the other offensive and export-driven. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2002

Suggested Citation

  • Sébastien Jean, 2002. "International Trade and Firms' Heterogeneity under Monopolistic Competition," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 291-311, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:openec:v:13:y:2002:i:3:p:291-311
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1015248022706
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Bernard, Andrew B. & Bradford Jensen, J., 1999. "Exceptional exporter performance: cause, effect, or both?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 1-25, February.
    2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    3. Andrew Bernard & Joachim Wagner, 1997. "Exports and success in German manufacturing," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 133(1), pages 134-157, March.
    4. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning by Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence from Colombia, Mexico, and Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947.
    5. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J. Bradford, 1997. "Exporters, skill upgrading, and the wage gap," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 3-31, February.
    6. Tybout, James R. & Westbrook, M. Daniel, 1995. "Trade liberalization and the dimensions of efficiency change in Mexican manufacturing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(1-2), pages 53-78, August.
    7. Ngo, Van Long & Soubeyran, Antoine, 1997. "Cost heterogeneity, industry concentration and strategic trade policies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1-2), pages 207-220, August.
    8. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 1999. "Exporting and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 7135, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
    11. Montagna, Catia, 2001. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 27-44, February.
    12. Montagna, Catia, 1995. "Monopolistic Competition with Firm-Specific Costs," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 47(2), pages 318-328, April.
    13. Hine, Robert C & Wright, Peter W, 1998. "Trade with Low Wage Economies, Employment and Productivity in UK Manufacturing," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1500-1510, September.
    14. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; firms' heterogeneity; product differentiation; monopolistic competition; productive efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F23 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - Multinational Firms; International Business

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