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Variety Gains and the Extensive Margin of Trade

  • Lukas Mohler

    ()

    (University of Basel)

Findings from the literature suggest that previous estimates of the variety gains from trade are too small because of the imprecise measurement of the imported variety set under the Armington assumption. In this contribution, I use results from the literature on multi-product firms to obtain variety gain estimates that account for the entry and exit of firms as well as for product turnover within firms and find that welfare gains increase by a factor of 2.5 compared to the baseline Armington product-country variety differentiation case. I furthermore modify the lambda ratios presented in Feenstra (1994) by assuming that all import variations are due to extensive margin adjustments. Under this extreme assumption, variety gains increase by a factor of six but remain modest in magnitude.

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Paper provided by Faculty of Business and Economics - University of Basel in its series Working papers with number 2012/16.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2012/16
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  1. Juan Carlos Hallak & Peter K. Schott, 2008. "Estimating Cross-Country Differences in Product Quality," NBER Working Papers 13807, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Clinton R. Shiells, 1996. "Bias in U.S. Import Prices and Demand," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of New Goods, pages 249-276 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sato, Kazuo, 1976. "The Ideal Log-Change Index Number," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 58(2), pages 223-28, May.
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  8. Ardelean, Adina & Lugovskyy, Volodymyr, 2010. "Domestic productivity and variety gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 280-291, March.
  9. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Soderbery, Anson, 2010. "Measuring the benefits of foreign product variety with an accurate variety set," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(2), pages 168-180, November.
  10. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
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  13. Diewert, W. E., 1976. "Exact and superlative index numbers," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 115-145, May.
  14. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
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  16. 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.
  17. Hallak, Juan Carlos, 2006. "Product quality and the direction of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 68(1), pages 238-265, January.
  18. David Hummels & Volodymyr Lugovskyy, 2005. "Trade in Ideal Varieties: Theory and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 11828, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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