An Applied General Equilibrium Model Of Moroccan Trade Liberalization Featuring External Economies
Since the 1920's economists have wrestled with the effects of external economies on trade liberalization. In this paper I show that under extreme conditions, externalities can reverse the gains from trade found in perfectly competitive trade models. However, the externalities needed to generate this result, even under the worst possible conditions (all expanding industries are subject to negative externalities, all contracting industries have positive externalities) are orders of magnitude larger than those estimated in Krizan (1997). This suggests that the presence of external economies of scale does not provide a credible argument for protectionism. On the other hand, the CGE model showed that external effects can increase the welfare gains from trade liberalization, but the combined effect is still small compared to other policy options. This finding contrasts sharply with many models featuring internal returns to scale that are able to generate large welfare benefits from trade liberalization.
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