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Per Capita Income Demand for Variety, and International Trade: Linder Reconsidered

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  • P Ramezzana

Abstract

We analyse a monopolistically competitive model of international trade where goods must be consumed in indivisible amounts. The number of varieties that enter a consumer's optimal consumption bundle is increasing in the consumer's per capita income. We first show that, for a given level of GDP, less populous and richer economies have a larger equilibrium number of product varieties. We then show that in an integrated world, even when total GDP is kept constant in all markets, as the levels of and the similarity in the trading partners' per capita incomes increase, so do the number of varieties exchanged and the volume of bilateral trade flows, as conjectured in the Linder hypothesis. Implications for the distribution of gains from trade between and within countries are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • P Ramezzana, 2000. "Per Capita Income Demand for Variety, and International Trade: Linder Reconsidered," CEP Discussion Papers dp0460, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  • Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0460
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    File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0460.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Dow, James & da Costa Werlang, Sergio Ribeiro, 1992. "Homothetic preferences," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(4), pages 389-394.
    2. Helpman, Elhanan, 1981. "International trade in the presence of product differentiation, economies of scale and monopolistic competition : A Chamberlin-Heckscher-Ohlin approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(3), pages 305-340, August.
    3. Hunter, Linda, 1991. "The contribution of nonhomothetic preferences to trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 345-358, May.
    4. Davis, Donald R, 1997. "Critical Evidence on Comparative Advantage? North-North Trade in a Multilateral World," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 105(5), pages 1051-1060, October.
    5. Donald R. Davis & David E. Weinstein, 2001. "An Account of Global Factor Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1423-1453, December.
    6. Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Imperfect competition and international trade: Evidence from fourteen industrial countries," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 62-81, March.
    7. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-116, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexander Tarasov, 2012. "Trade Liberalization and Welfare Inequality: A Demand-Based Approach," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 114(4), pages 1296-1317, December.
    2. Carmen Fillat-Castejon & Jose Ma Serrano-sanz, 2004. "Linder Revisited: Trade and Development in the Spanish Economy," International Review of Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 18(3), pages 323-348.
    3. Mitchell, Lorraine, 2006. "Variety, Agricultural Trade, and Income," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21246, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).

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