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Trade barriers and the relative price tradables

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  • Michael J. Sposi

Abstract

In this paper I quantitatively address the role of trade barriers in explaining why prices of services relative to tradables are positively correlated with levels of development across countries. I argue that trade barriers play a crucial role in shaping the cross-country pattern of specialization across many heterogenous tradable goods. The pattern of specialization feeds into cross-country productivity differences in the tradables sector and is reflected in the relative price of services. I show that the existing pattern of specialization implies that the tradables-sector productivity gap between rich and poor countries is more than 80 percent larger than it would be under free trade. In turn, removing trade barriers would eliminate 64 percent of the disparity in the relative price of services between rich and poor countries, without systematically altering the cross-country pattern of the absolute price of tradables.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael J. Sposi, 2013. "Trade barriers and the relative price tradables," Globalization Institute Working Papers 139, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, revised 2013.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:feddgw:139
    Note: Published as: Sposi, Michael (2015), "Trade Barriers and the Relative Price of Tradables," Journal of International Economics 92 (2): 398-411.
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    Cited by:

    1. Piyusha Mutreja & Michael Sposi & B. Ravikumar, 2018. "Capital Goods Trade, Relative Prices and Economic Development," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 27, pages 101-122, January.
    2. Weicheng Lian & Natalija Novta & Evgenia Pugacheva & Yannick Timmer & Petia Topalova, 2020. "The Price of Capital Goods: A Driver of Investment Under Threat," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 68(3), pages 509-549, September.
    3. Mario J. Crucini & Christopher I. Telmer, 2012. "Microeconomic Sources of Real Exchange Rate Variability," NBER Working Papers 17978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Michael Sposi & B Ravikumar & Piyusha Mutreja, 2014. "Capital goods trade and economic development," 2014 Meeting Papers 1374, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    5. Weicheng Lian & Natalija Novta & Evgenia Pugacheva & Yannick Timmer & Petia Topalova, 0. "The Price of Capital Goods: A Driver of Investment Under Threat," IMF Economic Review, Palgrave Macmillan;International Monetary Fund, vol. 0, pages 1-41.
    6. Michael J. Sposi, 2015. "Navigating the Structure of the Global Economy," Annual Report, Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, pages 10-17.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O4 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade

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