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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," Papers 95-10, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  2. 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.
  3. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
  4. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 508, Econometric Society.
  5. J. Peter Neary, 2000. "Monopolistic Competition and International Trade Theory," Working Papers 200025, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
  6. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  7. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. J.Peter Neary, 2003. "Globalisation and Market Structure," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 100, Netherlands Central Bank.
  9. 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.
  10. Xavier Vives, 2001. "Oligopoly Pricing: Old Ideas and New Tools," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 026272040x, June.
  11. Schmalensee, Richard., 1987. "Inter-industry studies of structure and performance," Working papers 1874-87., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
  12. 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.
  13. Brakman, Steven & Heijdra, Ben J., 2002. "The monopolistic competition revolution in retrospect," CCSO Working Papers 200215, University of Groningen, CCSO Centre for Economic Research.
  14. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  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. 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.
  17. 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.
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