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Not all trade restrictions are created equally

  • Matthew Cole

    ()

There has been great focus in the recent trade theory literature on the introduction of firm heterogeneity into trade models. This introduction has highlighted the importance of the entry/exit decision of firms in response to changes in trade barriers. However, it is typical in many of these models to use iceberg transport costs as a general form of trade barriers that can be interchangeable with ad valorem tariffs. I show that this is not always an appropriate conclusion. Specifically, I illustrate that profit for an exporter is more elastic in response to tariffs than iceberg transport costs, which has implications for total product variety. One such implication is the possibility for there to be an anti-variety effect associated with lower transport costs while there also being a pro-variety effect associated with lower tariffs.

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Article provided by Springer in its journal Review of World Economics.

Volume (Year): 147 (2011)
Issue (Month): 3 (September)
Pages: 411-427

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Handle: RePEc:spr:weltar:v:147:y:2011:i:3:p:411-427
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  1. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2006. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," NBER Working Papers 12192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
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  4. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Where Do Firms Export, How Much, and Why?," Working Papers 200821, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Costas Arkolakis, 2008. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  8. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  9. Matthew T Cole, 2010. "Distorted Trade Barriers: A Comment on “Distorted Gravity”," Working Papers 201019, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  10. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
  11. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Opromolla, Luca David, 2010. "The Tip of the Iceberg: Modeling Trade Costs and Implications for Intra-Industry Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7685, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2007. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," University of Oregon Economics Department Working Papers 2007-6, University of Oregon Economics Department.
  13. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Trade Policy under Firm-Level Heterogeneity in a Small Economy," NBER Working Papers 13688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  16. Davin Chor, 2006. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a Model with Heterogenous Firms," 2006 Meeting Papers 475, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  17. Jørgensen Jan Guldager & Schröder Philipp J. H., 2006. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, July.
  18. Zhihao Yu, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and intra-industry trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 277-290, June.
  19. Jonathan EATON, Samuel KORTUM, Francis KRAMARZ, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade : Evidence from French Firms” ~We examine the sales of French manufacturing ?rms in 113 destinations, including Franceitself. Several regularities stand out: (1) the ," Working Papers 2008-29, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Johannes Becker, 2009. "Taxation of Foreign Profits with Heterogeneous Multinational Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 2899, CESifo Group Munich.
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