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Tariffs Passing Through Retailers: Do Tariffs Actually Protect Domestic Manufacturers?

Author

Listed:
  • Matthew T. Cole

    () (Department of Economics, Florida International University)

  • Carsten Eckel

    (University of Munich and CESifo)

Abstract

Historically, tari?s have been an attractive policy tool to protect domestic industries.The bene?ts of such a policy are based on theoretical models that assume foreign manufacturers sell directly to consumers. However, recent empirical evidence suggests that wholesalers and retailers play an active role in international trade. We present a model of retailers that illustrates how accounting for these strategic intermediaries can actually make some domestic manufacturers worse off in response to an increased tariff. Moreover, any production gains that occur are biased towards higher cost domestic manufacturers. This result is not driven by the cannibalization effect of the multi-product ?rm literature rather it is the fact that retailers compete over the marginal consumer (the extensive margin).

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew T. Cole & Carsten Eckel, 2014. "Tariffs Passing Through Retailers: Do Tariffs Actually Protect Domestic Manufacturers?," Working Papers 1404, Florida International University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:fiu:wpaper:1404
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Rabah Amir & Jim Y. Jin & Gerald Pech & Michael Tröge, 2016. "Prices and Deadweight Loss in Multiproduct Monopoly," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 18(3), pages 346-362, June.
    2. Avinash Dixit, 1979. "A Model of Duopoly Suggesting a Theory of Entry Barriers," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 10(1), pages 20-32, Spring.
    3. Hellerstein, Rebecca, 2008. "Who bears the cost of a change in the exchange rate? Pass-through accounting for the case of beer," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 14-32, September.
    4. Eike Berner & Laura Birg & Dominik Boddin, 2017. "Retailers and Consumers: The Pass-through of Import Price Changes," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(7), pages 1314-1344, July.
    5. Bernardo S. Blum & Sebastian Claro & Ignatius Horstmann, 2010. "Facts and Figures on Intermediated Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(2), pages 419-423, May.
    6. Horst Raff & Nicolas Schmitt, 2009. "Imports, Pass-Through, and the Structure of Retail Markets," CESifo Working Paper Series 2817, CESifo Group Munich.
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    Cited by:

    1. Raff, Horst & Schmitt, Nicolas, 2015. "Retailing and international trade: A survey of the literature," Economics Working Papers 2015-02, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    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

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