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Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs


  • Jan G. Jorgensen
  • Philipp J. H. Schröder


Recent literature on the workhorse model of intra-industry trade has explored heterogeneous cost structures at the firm level. These approaches have proven to add realism and predictive power. This note shows, however, that this added realism also implies that there may exist a positive bilateral tariff that maximizes national and world welfare. Applying one of the simplest specifications possible, namely a symmetric two-country intra-industry trade model with fixed export costs that are heterogeneous across firms, we find that the reciprocal reduction of small tariffs reduces welfare.

Suggested Citation

  • Jan G. Jorgensen & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2005. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 496, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwpp:dp496

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
    2. Richard E. Baldwin & Rikard Forslid, 2010. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 161-176, May.
    3. Yeaple, Stephen Ross, 2005. "A simple model of firm heterogeneity, international trade, and wages," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-20, January.
    4. 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.
    5. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
    6. Lockwood, Ben & Wong, Kar-yiu, 2000. "Specific and ad valorem tariffs are not equivalent in trade wars," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 183-195, October.
    7. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    8. Fukushima, Takashi & Kim, Namdoo, 1989. "Welfare improving tariff changes : A case of many goods and countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 383-388, May.
    9. Anthony Venables, 1994. "Integration and the export behaviour of firms: Trade costs, trade volumes and welfare," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(1), pages 118-132, March.
    10. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    11. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Philipp J.H. Schroeder, 2004. "Real Versus Tariff Liberalization: A Welfare Comparison Under Monopolistic Competition," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 403-418, October.
    13. Montagna, Catia, 2001. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(269), pages 27-44, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
    2. Matthew Cole, 2011. "Not all trade restrictions are created equally," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(3), pages 411-427, September.
    3. Matthew T. Cole & Ronald B. Davies, 2009. "Optimal tariffs, tariff jumping, and heterogeneous firms," Working Papers 200919, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    4. Gawande, Kishore & Hoekman, Bernard & Cui, Yue, 2011. "Determinants of trade policy responses to the 2008 financial crisis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5862, The World Bank.
    5. Matthew T. Cole, 2009. "The choice of modeling firm heterogeneity and trade restrictions," Working Papers 200920, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    6. repec:bla:pacecr:v:22:y:2017:i:1:p:101-122 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Optimal tariff; Welfare; Intra-industry trade; Monopolistic competition; Protectionism;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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