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Firm Heterogeneity, Rules of Origin and Rules of Cumulation

We analyse the impact of relaxing rules of origin (ROOs) in a simple setting with heterogeneous firms that buy intermediate inputs from domestic and foreign sources. In particular, we consider the impact of switching from bilateral to diagonal cumulation when using preferences (instead of paying the MFN tariff) involving the respect of rules of origin. We find that relaxing the restrictiveness of the ROOs leads the least productive exporters to stop exporting. The empirical part confirms these results. We use the most recent techniques developed by Helpman, Melitz and Rubinstein (2007) on highly disaggregated data (HS6 digit) to analyse the effects of the introduction of the Pan-European Cumulation System (PECS). We find that PECS reverses the negative impact of strict ROOs on intermediate trade which turns positive as a consequence of introducing diagonal ROCs.

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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 09-2008.

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Length: 39
Date of creation: Oct 2008
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heidwp09-2008
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  1. José Anson & Olivier Cadot & Antoni Estevadeordal & Jaime de Melo & Akiko Suwa-Eisenmann & Bolormaa Tumurchudur, 2005. "Rules of Origin in North-South Preferential Trading Arrangements with an Application to NAFTA," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(3), pages 501-517, 08.
  2. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487, 05.
  3. Bernard, Andrew B. & Jensen, J Bradford & Redding, Stephen J. & Schott, Peter K., 2007. "Firms in International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 6277, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  5. Svetlana Demidova & Hiau Looi Kee & Kala Krishna, 2006. "Do Trade Policy Differences Induce Sorting? Theory and Evidence from Bangladeshi Apparel Exporters," NBER Working Papers 12725, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Richard Baldwin, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade: Testable and Untestable Properties of the Melitz Model," NBER Working Papers 11471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Kala Krishna, 2005. "Understanding Rules of Origin," NBER Working Papers 11150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
  9. Fugazza, Marco & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2006. "Can South-South Trade Liberalisation Stimulate North-South Trade?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5699, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Anthony J. Venables, 1993. "Equilibrium Locations of Vertically Linked Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0137, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  11. Puga, Diego & Venables, Anthony J., 1997. "Preferential trading arrangements and industrial location," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(3-4), pages 347-368, November.
  12. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
  13. Anderson, James E, 1979. "A Theoretical Foundation for the Gravity Equation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 69(1), pages 106-16, March.
  14. James R. Tybout, 2001. "Plant- and Firm-Level Evidence on "New" Trade Theories," NBER Working Papers 8418, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Patricia Augier & Michael Gasiorek & Charles Lai-Tong, 2007. "Multilateralising Regionalism: Relaxing the Rules of Origin Or Can Those Pecs Be Flexed?," CARIS Working Papers 03, Centre for the Analysis of Regional Integration at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  16. Richard Baldwin, 2008. "Big-Think Regionalism: A Critical Survey," NBER Working Papers 14056, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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