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Gains from trade and efficiency under monopolistic competition: a variable elasticity case

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  • BEHRENS, Kristian
  • MURATA, Yasusada

Abstract

We present a general equilibrium model of monopolistic competition with variable demand elasticities and investigate the impact of free trade on welfare and efficiency. First, contrary to the constant elasticity case, in which all gains from trade are due to increasing product diversity, our model features gains from pro-competitive effects. Second, we prove that the market outcome is not efficient because too many firms operate at an inefficiently small scale. Last, we illustrate that free trade raises efficiency by reducing the gap between the equilibrium utility and the optimal utility.

Suggested Citation

  • BEHRENS, Kristian & MURATA, Yasusada, 2006. "Gains from trade and efficiency under monopolistic competition: a variable elasticity case," CORE Discussion Papers 2006049, Universit√© catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  • Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006049
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    File URL: https://uclouvain.be/en/research-institutes/immaq/core/dp-2006.html
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
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    3. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
    4. Schmalensee, Richard, 1989. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Handbook of Industrial Organization,in: R. Schmalensee & R. Willig (ed.), Handbook of Industrial Organization, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 16, pages 951-1009 Elsevier.
    5. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    6. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    8. J. Peter Neary, 2002. "Globalisation and market structure," Working Papers 200220, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
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    10. 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.
    11. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-973, October.
    12. Colin Lawrence & Pablo T. Spiller, 1983. "Product Diversity, Economies of Scale, and International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 63-83.
    13. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Monopolistic competition and international trade theory," Working Papers 200025, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    14. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
    15. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, January.
    16. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Sylvain Barde, 2008. "A Generalized Variable Elasticity of Substitution Model of New Economic Geography," Working Papers hal-01066187, HAL.
    2. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2012. "Trade, competition, and efficiency," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 1-17.
    3. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/7348 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Robbert Maseland, 2014. "Does Germany have an East-West Problem? Regional Growth Patterns in Germany since Reunification," Regional Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 48(7), pages 1161-1175, July.
    5. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2011. "Trade, Competition, and Efficiency (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1118, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    international trade; monopolistic competition; variable elasticity; gains from trade; efficiency.;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D51 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Exchange and Production Economies
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

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