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Optimal Tariffs, Tariff Jumping, and Heterogeneous Firms

  • Matthew T. Cole (University College Dublin) Ronald B. Davies (University College Dublin)

The majority of research to date investigating strategic tariffs in the presence of multinationals finds a knife-edge result where, in equilibrium, all foreign firms are either multinationals or exporters. Utilizing a model of heterogeneous firms, we find equilibria in which both pure exporters and multinationals coexist. We utilize this model to study the case of endogenously chosen tariffs. As is standard, Nash equilibrium tariffs are higher than the socially optimal tariffs. Unlike existing models with homogeneous firms, we find that non-cooperative tariffs promote the existence of low-productivity firms relative to the socially optimal tariffs. This highlights a new source of inefficiency from tariff competition not found in models of homogeneous firms. In addition, we find that in many cases the Nash equilibrium tariff when FDI is a potential firm structure is lower than when it is not. As a result, FDI improves welfare by mitigating tariff competition.

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Paper provided by IIIS in its series The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series with number iiisdp302.

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Date of creation: 10 2009
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Handle: RePEc:iis:dispap:iiisdp302
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  1. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
  2. Mario Larch, 2008. "Endogenous Tariffs in the Presence of Multinationals," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(3), pages 534-567, September.
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  7. Chor, Davin, 2009. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a model with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 113-125, June.
  8. Beata Smarzynska Javorcik, 2004. "Does Foreign Direct Investment Increase the Productivity of Domestic Firms? In Search of Spillovers Through Backward Linkages," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(3), pages 605-627, June.
  9. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  10. Ellingsen, T. & Wärneryd, K.E., 1993. "Foreign direct investment and the political economy of protection," Discussion Paper 1993-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  11. Haaland, Jan I. & Wooton, Ian, 1996. "Anti-dumping jumping: Reciprocal anti-dumping and industrial location," Discussion Papers, Series II 310, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  12. Bruce A. Blonigen & KaSaundra Tomlin & Wesley W. Wilson, 2002. "Tariff-jumping FDI and Domestic Firms' Profits," NBER Working Papers 9027, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
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  16. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  17. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Ohno, Yuka, 1998. "Endogenous protection, foreign direct investment and protection-building trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 205-227, December.
  18. Jørgensen Jan Guldager & Schröder Philipp J. H., 2006. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, July.
  19. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
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  23. Blanchard Emily J, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment, Endogenous Tariffs, and Preferential Trade Agreements," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-52, November.
  24. Matthew T Cole, 2009. "The Choice of Modeling Firm Heterogeneity and Trade Restrictions," Working Papers 200920, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
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