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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. Richard B. Freeman, 1995. "Are Your Wages Set in Beijing?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 15-32, Summer.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2000. "Vertical Product Differentiation and the Import Demand Function: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 387, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. 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.
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  7. Daron Acemoglu, 2002. "Technical Change, Inequality, and the Labor Market," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 40(1), pages 7-72, March.
  8. Im, Kyung So & Pesaran, M. Hashem & Shin, Yongcheol, 2003. "Testing for unit roots in heterogeneous panels," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 115(1), pages 53-74, July.
  9. Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Nasri Harb, 2005. "Import demand in heterogeneous panel setting," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 37(20), pages 2407-2415.
  12. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2006. "Inequality and the US Import Demand Function," CESifo Working Paper Series 1827, CESifo Group Munich.
  13. 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.
  14. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
  15. 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.
  16. Gonzalo, Jesus, 1994. "Five alternative methods of estimating long-run equilibrium relationships," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1-2), pages 203-233.
  17. Devashish Mitra & Vitor Trindade, 2005. "Inequality and trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 38(4), pages 1253-1271, November.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. Rose, Andrew K. & Yellen, Janet L., 1989. "Is there a J-curve?," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(1), pages 53-68, July.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. 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.
  26. 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.
  27. Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous political organization and the value of trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-485, August.
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