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Inequality and the Import Demand Function

  • Antonis Adam
  • Margarita Katsimi
  • Thomas Moutos

In this paper we build a model of trade in vertically differentiated products and find that income inequality can affect the demand for imports even in the presence of homothetic preferences. The empirical importance of changes in inequality on the demand for imports is then assessed by examining panel data for 36 developing and developed countries for the 1980-1997 period. We find significant evidence supporting our prediction that inequality has a large influence on the demand for imports. Moreover we find that, in line with the predictions of our theoretical model, this influence is positive for high-income countries (countries that produce the high quality variety of the vertically differentiated product) and negative for low-income countries (countries that produce the low quality variety of the vertically differentiated product).

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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2008/wp-cesifo-2008-01/cesifo1_wp2196.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 2196.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_2196
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  1. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2002. "Vertical product differentiation and the import demand function: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 257-281, May.
  2. Pasaran, M.H. & Im, K.S. & Shin, Y., 1995. "Testing for Unit Roots in Heterogeneous Panels," Cambridge Working Papers in Economics 9526, Faculty of Economics, University of Cambridge.
  3. Paul Krugman, 1995. "Growing World Trade: Causes and Consequences," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 327-377.
  4. Nasri Harb, 2005. "Import demand in heterogeneous panel setting," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2407-2415.
  5. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
  6. Daron Acemoglu, 2000. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 7800, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Inequality and Trade," NBER Working Papers 10087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Kinal, T & Lahiri, K, 1993. "On the Estimation of Simultaneous-Equations Error-Components Models with an Application to a Model of Developing Country Foreign Trade," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 8(1), pages 81-92, Jan.-Marc.
  9. Katsimi, Margarita & Moutos, Thomas, 2011. "Inequality and the US import demand function," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 30(3), pages 492-506, April.
  10. Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Import Competition from Developed and Developing Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 271-81, May.
  11. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Vertical Product Differentiation and North-South Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 810-22, December.
  12. Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," NBER Working Papers 1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Rose, Andrew K. & Yellen, Janet L., 1989. "Is there a J-curve?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 53-68, July.
  14. Braun, Denny, 1988. "Multiple Measurements of U.S. Income Inequality," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(3), pages 398-405, August.
  15. Houthakker, Hendrik S & Magee, Stephen P, 1969. "Income and Price Elasticities in World Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 51(2), pages 111-25, May.
  16. Antonis Adam & Thomas Moutos, 2002. "The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Or, Why Japan is not a Candidate Country?," CESifo Working Paper Series 704, CESifo Group Munich.
  17. Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous political organization and the value of trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-485, August.
  18. Bruce E. Hansen, 1996. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 319., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 May 1998.
  19. Sawyer, W. Charles & Sprinkle, Richard L., 1997. "The Demand for Imports and Exports in Japan: A Survey," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 247-259, June.
  20. Markusen, James R, 1986. "Explaining the Volume of Trade: An Eclectic Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 1002-11, December.
  21. Khan, Mohsin S & Knight, Malcolm D, 1988. "Import Compression and Export Performance in Developing Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 70(2), pages 315-21, May.
  22. Santos-Paulino, Amelia U., 2002. "The Effects of Trade Liberalization on Imports in Selected Developing Countries," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 959-974, June.
  23. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  24. Rose, Andrew K., 1991. "The role of exchange rates in a popular model of international trade : Does the 'Marshall-Lerner' condition hold?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 301-316, May.
  25. Inder, Brett, 1993. "Estimating long-run relationships in economics : A comparison of different approaches," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1-3), pages 53-68.
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