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Two and a Half Theories of Trade

  • Neary, J Peter

This paper discusses the place of oligopoly in international trade theory, and argues that it is unsatisfactory to ignore firms altogether, as in perfectly competitive models, or to view large firms as more productive clones of small ones, as in monopolistically competitive models. Doing either fails to account for the "granularity" in the size distribution of firms and for the dominance of large firms in exporting. The paper outlines three ways of developing more convincing models of oligopoly, which allow for free entry but do not lose sight of the grains in "granularity": heterogeneous industries, natural oligopoly, and superstar firms.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 7600.

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Date of creation: Dec 2009
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7600
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  1. Friberg, Richard & Ganslandt, Mattias, 2006. "An empirical assessment of the welfare effects of reciprocal dumping," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 1-24, September.
  2. Xavier Gabaix, 2009. "The Granular Origins of Aggregate Fluctuations," NBER Working Papers 15286, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  4. Rosen, Sherwin, 1981. "The Economics of Superstars," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(5), pages 845-58, December.
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  9. Feenstra, Robert & Kee, Hiau Looi, 2008. "Export variety and country productivity: Estimating the monopolistic competition model with endogenous productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 500-518, March.
  10. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 2007. "Multilateral Subsidy Games," CEPR Discussion Papers 6479, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  14. Diewert, Erwin, 2007. "Index Numbers," Economics working papers diewert-07-01-03-08-17-23, Vancouver School of Economics, revised 31 Jan 2007.
  15. Julian di Giovanni & Andrei A. Levchenko, 2009. "International Trade and Aggregate Fluctuations in Granular Economies," Working Papers 585, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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  19. Bergstrom, Theodore C & Varian, Hal R, 1985. "When Are Nash Equilibria Independent of the Distribution of Agents' Characteristics?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(4), pages 715-18, October.
  20. J. Peter Neary, 2007. "Cross-Border Mergers as Instruments of Comparative Advantage," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(4), pages 1229-1257.
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  28. Thierry Mayer & Gianmarco Ottaviano, 2008. "The Happy Few: The Internationalisation of European Firms," Intereconomics: Review of European Economic Policy, Springer, vol. 43(3), pages 135-148, May.
  29. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200, June.
  30. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  31. Jaskold Gabszewicz, J. & Thisse, J. -F., 1980. "Entry (and exit) in a differentiated industry," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 22(2), pages 327-338, April.
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  35. Markusen, James R. & Venables, Anthony J., 1988. "Trade policy with increasing returns and imperfect competition : Contradictory results from competing assumptions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 299-316, May.
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  37. Neary, J Peter, 2002. "Foreign Competition and Wage Inequality," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(4), pages 680-93, November.
  38. J. Peter Neary, 2003. "Competitive versus Comparative Advantage," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(4), pages 457-470, 04.
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