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Robust rules for industrial policy open economies

  • Dermot Leahy
  • J. Peter Neary

The theory of strategic trade policy yields ambiguous recommendations for assistance to exporting firms in oligopolistic industries. However, some writers have suggested that investment subsidies are a more robust recommendation than export subsidies. We show that, although ambiguous in principle, the case for investment subsidies is reasonably robust in practice. Except when functional forms exhibit arbitrary nonlinearities, it holds under both Cournot and Bertrand competition, with either costreducing or market-expanding investment, and with or without spillovers. Only if firms have strong asymmetries in their investment behaviour and engage in Bertrand competition is an investment tax clearly justified.

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Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development.

Volume (Year): 10 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
Pages: 393-409

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Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:10:y:2001:i:4:p:393-409
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  1. Neary, J.P. & Leahy, D., 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Papers 98/14, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  2. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1990. "The Sensitivity of Strategic and Corrective R&D Policy in Oligopolistic Industries," NBER Working Papers 3236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  4. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  5. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Working Papers 518, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  6. Grossman, Gene & Maggi, Giovanni, 1998. "Free Trade Vs. Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," CEPR Discussion Papers 1784, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  8. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-58, March.
  9. Brander, James A., 1995. "Strategic trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1395-1455 Elsevier.
  10. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1995. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1983. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 1236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1999. "Learning by Doing, Precommitment and Infant-Industry Promotion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 447-74, April.
  13. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  14. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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