IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Dermot Leahy & J. Peter Neary, 2001. "Robust rules for industrial policy open economies," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(4), pages 393-409.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:10:y:2001:i:4:p:393-409 DOI: 10.1080/09638190110073778

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. 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 1133-1137, December.
    2. Neary, J Peter & Leahy, Dermot, 2000. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 484-508, April.
    3. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 4(3), pages 322-338, October.
    4. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 1994. "The sensitivity of strategic and corrective R&D policy in oligopolistic industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 133-150, February.
    5. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 50(4), pages 707-722.
    6. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
    7. 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 361-366, May.
    8. Maggi, G. & Grossman, G., 1997. "Free Trade vs Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," Papers 190, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
    9. 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.
    10. Dermot Leahy & J. Peter Neary, 1999. "Learning by Doing, Precommitment and Infant-Industry Promotion," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 66(2), pages 447-474.
    11. 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.
    12. 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.
    13. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-258, March.
    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.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Hoefele, Andreas, 2016. "Endogenous product differentiation and international R&D policy," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 335-346.
    2. Arastou Khatibi & Wouter Vergote, 2011. "Trade policy in the face of price and non-price strategies," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 10(1), pages 3-21, April.
    3. Desai, Mihir A. & Hines Jr., James R., 2008. "Market reactions to export subsidies," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 459-474, March.
    4. Kujal, Praveen & Ruiz, Juan, 2003. "Cost effectiveness of R&D and the robustness of strategic trade policy," UC3M Working papers. Economics we030401, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    5. Žigić, Krešimir, 2011. "Does a ‘non-committed’ government always generate lower social welfare than its ‘committed’ counterpart? Strategic trade policy when consumer surplus matters," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 533-556.
    6. Ian Sheldon & Steve McCorriston, 2012. "Climate policy and border tax adjustments: Might industrial organization matter?," EconoQuantum, Revista de Economia y Negocios, Universidad de Guadalajara, Centro Universitario de Ciencias Economico Administrativas, Departamento de Metodos Cuantitativos y Maestria en Economia., vol. 9(2), pages 7-28, Julio-Dic.
    7. Steve Mccorriston & Ian Sheldon, 2005. "Export Competition and the Remission of Domestic Environmental Taxes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 12(5), pages 627-637, September.
    8. Dermot Leahy & J. Neary, 2009. "Multilateral subsidy games," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 41(1), pages 41-66, October.
    9. Kresimir Zigic, 2010. "Second-Best Trade Policies, R&D Spillovers and Government (In)ability to Precommit in an Intra-Industry Trade Framework," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp427, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economics Institute, Prague.
    10. Li, Changying & Maskus, Keith E., 2006. "The impact of parallel imports on investments in cost-reducing research and development," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(2), pages 443-455, March.
    11. Shengbao Ji & Yin-Fang Zhang & Tooraj Jamasb, 2014. "Reform of the Coal Sector in an Open Economy: The Case of China," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 1445, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:10:y:2001:i:4:p:393-409. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Chris Longhurst). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.