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Estimating Unequal Gains across U.S. Consumers with Supplier Trade Data

Author

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  • Colin J. Hottman
  • Ryan Monarch

Abstract

Using supplier-level trade data, we estimate the effect on consumer welfare from changes in U.S. imports both in the aggregate and for different household income groups from 1998 to 2014. To do this, we use consumer preferences which feature non-homotheticity both within sectors and across sectors. After structurally estimating the parameters of the model, using the universe of U.S. goods imports, we construct import price indexes in which a variety is defined as a foreign establishment producing an HS10 product that is exported to the United States. We find that lower income households experienced the most import price inflation, while higher income households experienced the least import price inflation during our time period. Thus, we do not find evidence that the consumption channel has mitigated the distributional effects of trade that have occurred through the nominal income channel in the United States over the past two decades.

Suggested Citation

  • Colin J. Hottman & Ryan Monarch, 2018. "Estimating Unequal Gains across U.S. Consumers with Supplier Trade Data," Working Papers 18-04, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  • Handle: RePEc:cen:wpaper:18-04
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    File URL: https://www2.census.gov/ces/wp/2018/CES-WP-18-04.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Logan T. Lewis & Ryan Monarch & Michael J. Sposi & Jing Zhang, 2018. "Structural Change and Global Trade," International Finance Discussion Papers 1225, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Carroll, Daniel R. & Hur, Sewon, 2020. "On the heterogeneous welfare gains and losses from trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 1-16.
    3. Beyza Ural Marchand, 2019. "Inequality and Trade Policy: The Pro‐Poor Bias of Contemporary Trade Restrictions," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 65(S1), pages 123-152, November.
    4. Paul Piveteau & gabriel smagghue, 2018. "The Impact of Chinese Competition along the Quality Ladder," 2018 Meeting Papers 509, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Kirill Borusyak & Xavier Jaravel, 2018. "The Distributional Effects of Trade: Theory and Evidence from the United States," 2018 Meeting Papers 284, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Ardelean, Adina & Lugovskyy, Volodymyr, 2019. "Tariffs, product quality, and the relative prices of durables: Evidence from 1989 to 2009 U.S. microdata," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 114(C), pages 54-75.
    7. Jessie Handbury, 2019. "Are Poor Cities Cheap for Everyone? Non-Homotheticity and the Cost of Living Across U.S. Cities," NBER Working Papers 26574, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    import price index; non-homotheticity; real income inequality; product variety; markups;

    JEL classification:

    • D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
    • E31 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Prices, Business Fluctuations, and Cycles - - - Price Level; Inflation; Deflation
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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