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Trade Liberalisation and Agglomeration with Firm Heterogeneity - Forward and Backward Linkages

This paper studies the impact of trade costs reduction on geographical concentration in the presence of firm heterogeneity and overhead type of export fixed costs. Firm heterogeneity with the export fixed costs hampers full agglomeration through weakening the forward and backward linkages and fortifying the market crowding effect. Rather than catastrophic agglomeration that the standard new economic geography models have long suggested, trade liberalisation causes gradual agglomeration. Also, trade liberalisation never produces a perfect convergence in welfare for the periphery, which loses, and the core, which gains. Even free trade never equalises the welfare between core and periphery, i.e. trade liberalisation does not eliminate inequality among nations.

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Paper provided by Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies in its series IHEID Working Papers with number 17-2006.

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Length: 30 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:gii:giihei:heiwp16-2006
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  1. Sofronis K. Clerides & Saul Lach & James R. Tybout, 1998. "Is Learning By Exporting Important? Micro-Dynamic Evidence From Colombia, Mexico, And Morocco," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(3), pages 903-947, August.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jenson & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 7688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Fumagalli, Chiara, 2003. "On the welfare effects of competition for foreign direct investments," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 47(6), pages 963-983, December.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," NBER Working Papers 10668, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," NBER Working Papers 10344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Facundo Albornoz and Gregory Corcos, 2005. "Subsidy Competition in Integrating Economies," Discussion Papers 05-14, Department of Economics, University of Birmingham.
  9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2003. "Export versus FDI," NBER Working Papers 9439, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen, 2004. "Why Some Firms Export," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(2), pages 561-569, May.
  11. Richard Baldwin & Toshihiro Okubo, 2005. "Heterogeneous Firms, Agglomeration and Economic Geography: Spatial Selection and Sorting," NBER Working Papers 11650, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, June.
  14. Vincent Dupont & Philippe Martin, 2006. "Subsidies to poor regions and inequalities: some unpleasant arithmetic," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(2), pages 223-240, April.
  15. Barros, Pedro P & Cabral, Luis, 2000. "Competing for Foreign Direct Investment," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 8(2), pages 360-71, May.
  16. Martin, Philippe & Rogers, Carol Ann, 1995. "Industrial location and public infrastructure," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 335-351, November.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Okubo, Toshihiro, 2006. "Agglomeration, Offshoring and Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 5663, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Toshihiro Okubo & Vincent Rebeyrol, 2006. "Home Market Effect and Regulation Costs - Homogeneous Firm and Heterogeneous Firm Trade Models," IHEID Working Papers 02-2006, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
  19. K.H. Midelfart & H.G. Overman & S.J. Redding & A.J. Venables, 2000. "The location of European industry," European Economy - Economic Papers 142, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
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