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Endogenous Trade Policy with Heterogeneous Firms

  • Jennifer Abel-Koch

    (Nottingham Centre for Research on Globalisation and Economic Policy, University of Nottingham and Gutenberg School of Economics and Management, University of Mainz)

The present paper modifies the \Protection for Sale" model of Grossman and Helpman (1994) to account for heterogeneous firms lobbying for non-tariff barriers to trade, such as technical standards or certification requirements. They raise the fixed costs of market access for both domestic producers and foreign exporters, force the least efficient firms to exit and shift profits to the most efficient firms. Non-tariff barriers to trade shift profits both within and across countries, but not necessarily to the country in which firms are more productive on average. They decrease social welfare as they reduce competition and product variety, but may nevertheless be implemented if only the largest domestic firms lobby the government. When variable trade costs fall or foreign firms become relatively more competitive, the potential for profit shifting and hence non-tariff barriers to trade decrease. The paper also analyzes the case of international trade negotiations, and it addresses the issue of endogenous lobby formation.

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File URL: http://www.macro.economics.uni-mainz.de/RePEc/pdf/Discussion_Paper_1306.pdf
File Function: First version, 2013
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Paper provided by Gutenberg School of Management and Economics, Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz in its series Working Papers with number 1306.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2013
Date of revision: 01 Aug 2013
Handle: RePEc:jgu:wpaper:1306
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  1. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. William R. Kerr & William F. Lincoln & Prachi Mishra, 2011. "The Dynamics of Firm Lobbying," NBER Working Papers 17577, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Do, Quy-Toan & Levchenko, Andrei A., 2009. "Trade, inequality, and the political economy of institutions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(4), pages 1489-1520, July.
  5. Zudenkova, Galina, 2012. "Lobbying as a Guard against Extremism," Working Papers 2072/184036, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Department of Economics.
  6. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  7. Vincent Rebeyrol & Julien Vauday, 2008. "Live or let die : intra-sectoral lobbying on entry," Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne bla08036, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne.
  8. Bombardini, Matilde, 2008. "Firm heterogeneity and lobby participation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 329-348, July.
  9. Gregory Corcos & Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2009. "Productivity and Firm Selection: Quantifying the "New" Gains from Trade," KITeS Working Papers 002, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Mar 2009.
  10. Simon Gachter & Ernst Fehr, 2000. "Cooperation and Punishment in Public Goods Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 90(4), pages 980-994, September.
  11. Imai, Susumu & Katayama, Hajime & Krishna, Kala, 2009. "Is protection really for sale? A survey and directions for future research," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 181-191, March.
  12. Xiaoquan (Michael) Zhang & Feng Zhu, 2011. "Group Size and Incentives to Contribute: A Natural Experiment at Chinese Wikipedia," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1601-15, June.
  13. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  14. Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "Trade, Wages and the Political Economy of Trade Protection: Evidence from the Colombian Trade Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 3877, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  16. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 163, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  17. Chen, Natalie & Novy, Dennis, 2011. "Gravity, trade integration, and heterogeneity across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 206-221.
  18. Bombardini, Matilde & Trebbi, Francesco, 2012. "Competition and political organization: Together or alone in lobbying for trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(1), pages 18-26.
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