Price-cost margins and economic integration: How important is the pro-competitive effect?
In this paper we examine whether the conventional result of a greater degree of integration leading to lower price-cost margins (i.e., the pro-competitive effect), would hold when two countries integrate by forming a common market. We propose a general framework of reference, in order to assess the extent of the pro-competitive effect when the role of other variables is allowed for, both for a “small” and “large” common market. By solving the model, the price-cost margin of domestic firms would depend on a set of variables in addition to trade costs with the partner country, which might eventually offset the conventional result.
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