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

  • BEHRENS, Kristian
  • MURATA, Yasusada

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.

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Paper provided by Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE) in its series CORE Discussion Papers with number 2006049.

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Date of creation: 00 Jun 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cor:louvco:2006049
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  1. Feenstra, R.C., 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," Department of Economics 95-10, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  2. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  4. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
  5. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade Theory," Working Papers 200025, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Krugman, Paul R, 1981. "Intraindustry Specialization and the Gains from Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 959-73, October.
  10. repec:dgr:rugccs:200215 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Lawrence, Colin & Spiller, Pablo T, 1983. "Product Diversity, Economies of Scale, and International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 63-83, February.
  12. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  13. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  14. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1986. "Up the average cost curve: Inefficient entry and the new protectionism," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3-4), pages 225-247, May.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. J Peter Neary, 2002. "Globalisation and Market Structure," Working Papers 200220, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
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