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Intransparent Markets and Intra-Industry Trade

Buyers are typically unaware of the full set of offers when making a purchase. This paper examines how international trade interacts with this problem of market intransparency. Sellers must communicate their offers through costly advertising, but cannot reach all buyers. Consequently, no market clearing price exists, and sellers randomize over an equilibrium price distribution. Letting sellers advertise their offers abroad leads to international trade, which would not take place under complete information. Buyers then receive more offers, leading to lower prices and welfare gains. Sellers in the model are identical, but appear heterogeneous due to their price randomization. In larger and more open economies, prices and markups will be lower, and exports are primarily realized by sellers who charge low prices. These predictions are similar to those of trade models where firm heterogeneity is assumed exogenously.

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File URL: http://www.hha.dk/nat/wper/09-20_chgs.pdf
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Paper provided by University of Aarhus, Aarhus School of Business, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 09-20.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:hhs:aareco:2009_020
Contact details of provider: Postal:
The Aarhus School of Business, Prismet, Silkeborgvej 2, DK 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark

Phone: +45 89 486396
Fax: +45 8615 5175
Web page: http://www.asb.dk/departments/nat.aspx

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  1. Pol Antràs & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," Discussion Papers 04-020, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
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  9. Roc Armenter & Miklós Koren, 2009. "Economies of Scale and the Size of Exporters," CeFiG Working Papers 7, Center for Firms in the Global Economy, revised 12 Mar 2009.
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  20. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Introduction to "Scanner Data and Price Indexes"," NBER Chapters, in: Scanner Data and Price Indexes, pages 1-14 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. Clay, Karen & Krishnan, Ramayya & Wolff, Eric, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 49(4), pages 521-39, December.
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  26. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Development Working Papers 201, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
  27. Pil Choi, J., 1997. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," ISER Discussion Paper 0451, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  28. Clay, Karen, et al, 2002. "Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-price Competition in the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
  29. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
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