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Market Size and TFP in New New Trade Theory

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  • Gabriel Felbermayr
  • Benjamin Jung
  • Gabriel J. Felbermayr

Abstract

Recent trade theory in the Krugman (1980) tradition predicts that countries with larger market size enjoy higher levels of total factor productivity (TFP) – and equivalently of real per capita income or welfare – as a smaller fraction of spending on inputs is affected by trade costs. However, in cross-country data, there is no such positive correlation between market size and TFP. We argue that models with heterogeneous firms and selection help to reconcile theory and data. While they do feature a home market effect – larger countries have an over-proportionate share of firms – and, therefore, have more input varieties available, the average productivity of firms is lower as greater market size protects inefficient firms. To reconcile theory with data, we show that a lower degree of external economies of scale (EoS) is needed than what is implicitly assumed in the usual formulation of aggregate CES production functions. Whether trade liberalization triggers convergence or divergence of TFP also depends on the strength of EoS.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabriel Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung & Gabriel J. Felbermayr, 2015. "Market Size and TFP in New New Trade Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 5583, CESifo.
  • Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_5583
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Benassy, Jean-Pascal, 1998. "Is there always too little research in endogenous growth with expanding product variety?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(1), pages 61-69, January.
    2. Susanto Basu & Luigi Pascali & Fabio Schiantarelli & Luis Serven, 2012. "Productivity and the Welfare of Nations," Working Papers 621, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    3. Natalia Ramondo & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare & Milagro Saborío-Rodríguez, 2016. "Trade, Domestic Frictions, and Scale Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(10), pages 3159-3184, October.
    4. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    5. Davis, Donald R. & Weinstein, David E., 2003. "Market access, economic geography and comparative advantage: an empirical test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 1-23, January.
    6. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    7. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2009. "Tax Reform, Delocation, and Heterogeneous Firms," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 111(4), pages 741-764, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Adolfo Cristóbal Campoamor, 2019. "Gradual trade liberalization in a North–South model of the product cycle," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 127(3), pages 265-292, August.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    trade; monopolistic competition; heterogeneous firms; total factor productivity; scale effects; home market effect;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • R12 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - General Regional Economics - - - Size and Spatial Distributions of Regional Economic Activity; Interregional Trade (economic geography)

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