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Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms

  • Balistreri, Edward J.
  • Rutherford, Thomas F.

This chapter considers alternatives to the Armington formulation of international trade found in most computable general equilibrium (CGE) models. International trade structures consistent with the monopolistic competition models suggested by Krugman (1980) and Melitz (2003) are presented in a computational setting. The Melitz structure of heterogeneous firms is particularly appealing given its consistency with micro-level findings on firm sizes and export behavior. We broaden the accessibility of these advanced trade theories for CGE modelers, and strengthen the link between contemporary CGE analysis and the broader trade community. Small-scale examples of all three theories (Armington, Krugman and Melitz) are introduced under a unified treatment. This is helpful in translating the advanced theories into an environment that is more familiar to CGE modelers. It is also helpful in showing how the different approaches affect outcomes, in a relatively transparent setting. Moving to an applied setting, we offer our approach to calibration and computation of models that include the Melitz heterogeneous firms structure. Our applications include an analysis of economic integration and subglobal climate policy in a model calibrated to the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) data. We do find that the heterogeneous firms structure matters for conclusions drawn from empirical CGE analysis. In our analysis of economic integration we find endogenous entry leading to important variety effects. We also find important productivity effects related to the competitive selection of more productive firms. In our examination of subglobal climate policy we see substantial trade diversion in the Melitz structure. This exacerbates the problem of carbon leakage and impacts the emissions yields from carbon-based tariffs.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), 2012. "Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 1, number 1.
  • This item is provided by Elsevier in its series Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling with number v:1:y:2013:i:c:p:1513-1570.
    Handle: RePEc:eee:hacchp:v:1:y:2013:i:c:p:1513-1570
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://store.elsevier.com/Handbook-of-Computable-General-Equilibrium-Modeling/isbn-9780444536341/

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

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    2. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    3. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    4. Daniel Trefler, 2006. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U.S. Free Trade Agreement," STICERD - Economics of Industry Papers 41, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
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    8. Brown, D.K. & Deardorff, A.V. & Stern, R.M., 1991. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and A Computational Assessment," Working Papers 289, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    9. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 444-50, May.
    10. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2000. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 485, Boston College Department of Economics.
    11. Eric J. Bartelsman & Mark Doms, 2000. "Understanding productivity: lessons from longitudinal microdata," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 2000-19, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    12. Peters, Glen P., 2008. "From production-based to consumption-based national emission inventories," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 13-23, March.
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    16. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
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    18. Baldwin, Richard & Forslid, Rikard, 2004. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2009. "Trade and Welfare: Does Industrial Organization Matter?," CER-ETH Economics working paper series 09/119, CER-ETH - Center of Economic Research (CER-ETH) at ETH Zurich.
    20. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    21. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    22. David Cox & Richard G. Harris, 1992. "North American Free Trade and its Implications for Canada: Results from a CGE Model of North American Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 15(1), pages 31-44, 01.
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    24. Edward J. Balistreri & Russell H. Hillberry, 2008. "The Gravity Model: An Illustration Of Structural Estimation As Calibration," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 46(4), pages 511-527, October.
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