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On sunk costs and trade liberalization in applied general equilibrium

  • Jean Mercenier
  • Nicolas Schmitt

We argue that the rationalization gains often predicted by static applied general equilibrium models with imperfect competition and scale economies are artificially boosted by an unrealistic treatment of fixed costs. We introduce sunk costs into one such model calibrated with real-world data. We show how this changes the oligopoly game in a way significant enough to affect, both qualitatively and quantitatively, the outcome of a trade liberalization exercise.

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Paper provided by Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis in its series Staff Report with number 188.

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Date of creation: 1995
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Handle: RePEc:fip:fedmsr:188
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  1. Horstmann, Ignatius J & Markusen, James R, 1987. "Strategic Investments and the Development of Multinationals," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(1), pages 109-21, February.
  2. Roberts, John & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1977. "On the Foundations of the Theory of Monopolistic Competition," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(1), pages 101-13, January.
  3. Jaskold Gabszewicz, Jean & Vial, Jean-Philippe, 1972. "Oligopoly "A la cournot" in a general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 4(3), pages 381-400, June.
  4. Brown, D.K. & Stern, R.M., 1988. "U.S.-Canada Bilateral Tariff Elimination: The Role Of Product Differentiation And Market Structure," Working Papers 227, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  5. Gasiorek, Michael & Smith, Alasdair & Venables, Anthony J, 1992. "`1992': Trade and Welfare; A General Equilibrium Model," CEPR Discussion Papers 672, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Shantayanan Devarajan & Dani Rodrik, 1989. "Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade Reform: Results from a CGE Model of Cameroon," NBER Working Papers 3176, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Avinash K. Dixit & Robert S. Pindyck, 1994. "Investment under Uncertainty," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 5474.
  8. Brander, James A & Spencer, Barbara J, 1985. "Tacit Collusion, Free Entry, and Welfare," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 33(3), pages 277-94, March.
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