IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/lmu/muenar/20591.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model

Author

Listed:
  • Felbermayr, Gabriel
  • Jung, Benjamin
  • Larch, Mario

Abstract

This paper characterizes analytically the optimal tariff of a large one-sector economy with monopolistic competition and firm heterogeneity in general equilibrium, thereby extending the small-country results of Demidova and Rodríguez-Clare (JIE, 2009) and the homogeneous firms framework of Gros (JIE, 1987). The optimal tariff internalizes a mark-up distortion, an entry distortion, and a terms-of-trade externality. It is larger when the dispersion of firm-level productivities is higher, and the country’s relative size or relative average productivity is bigger. Furthermore, in the two-country Nash equilibrium, tariffs turn out to be strategic substitutes. Small or poor economies set lower Nash tariffs than large or rich ones. Lower transportation costs or smaller fixed market entry costs induce higher equilibrium tariffs and larger welfare losses relative to the case of zero tariffs. Similarly, cross-country productivity or size convergence, and higher firm-level productivity dispersion increase the global welfare loss due to non-cooperative tariff policies. These results suggest that post WWII trends have increased the relative merits of the WTO.

Suggested Citation

  • Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model," Munich Reprints in Economics 20591, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20591
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    To our knowledge, this item is not available for download. To find whether it is available, there are three options:
    1. Check below whether another version of this item is available online.
    2. Check on the provider's web page whether it is in fact available.
    3. Perform a search for a similarly titled item that would be available.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    2. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2010. "The World Trade Organization: Theory and Practice," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 223-256, September.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    4. Gabriel Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung, 2011. "Sorting It Out: Technical Barriers to Trade and Industry Productivity," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 22(1), pages 93-117, February.
    5. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    6. Christian Broda & N. Limao & D. Weinstein, 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," 2006 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
    8. Benjamin Jung, 2012. "Optimal fixed cost subsidies in Melitz-type models," Empirica, Springer;Austrian Institute for Economic Research;Austrian Economic Association, vol. 39(1), pages 87-108, February.
    9. 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.
    10. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    11. Pflüger, Michael P. & Russek, Stephan, 2010. "Trade and Industrial Policies with Heterogeneous Firms: The Role of Country Asymmetries," IZA Discussion Papers 5387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2015. "Delocation and trade agreements in imperfectly competitive markets," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 132-156.
    13. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 444-450, May.
    14. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Raymond Riezman (ed.), International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
    16. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    17. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
    18. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
    19. Michael Tomz & Judith L. Goldstein & Douglas Rivers, 2007. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade? Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(5), pages 2005-2018, December.
    20. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    21. Pflüger, Michael & Suedekum, Jens, 2013. "Subsidizing firm entry in open economies," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(C), pages 258-271.
    22. Andrew B. Bernard & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Comparative Advantage and Heterogeneous Firms," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 74(1), pages 31-66.
    23. 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.
    24. Markus Poschke, 2018. "The Firm Size Distribution across Countries and Skill-Biased Change in Entrepreneurial Technology," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 10(3), pages 1-41, July.
    25. Matthew T. Cole & Ronald B. Davies, 2009. "Optimal tariffs, tariff jumping, and heterogeneous firms," Working Papers 200919, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    26. Venables, Anthony J, 1987. "Trade and Trade Policy with Differentiated Products: A Chamberlinian-Ricardian Model," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 97(387), pages 700-717, September.
    27. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
    28. David Hummels, 2007. "Transportation Costs and International Trade in the Second Era of Globalization," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 131-154, Summer.
    29. Gros, Daniel, 1987. "A note on the optimal tariff, retaliation and the welfare loss from tariff wars in a framework with intra-industry trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 357-367, November.
    30. Philipp J. H. Schröder & Allan Sørensen, 2014. "A Welfare Ranking of Multilateral Reductions in Real and Tariff Trade Barriers when Firms are Heterogenous," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 423-443, August.
    31. Constantinos Syropoulos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(3), pages 707-727.
    32. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2011. "Factor Prices and International Trade: A Unifying Perspective," NBER Working Papers 16904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    33. Ralph Ossa, 2014. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks with Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 4104-4146, December.
    34. Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-2065, December.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Ralph Ossa, 2011. "A "New Trade" Theory of GATT/WTO Negotiations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(1), pages 122-152.
    2. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    3. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    4. Nocco, Antonella & Ottaviano, Gianmarco I.P. & Salto, Matteo, 2019. "Geography, competition, and optimal multilateral trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 145-161.
    5. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2012. "Tariffs and welfare in new trade theory models," University of Tübingen Working Papers in Business and Economics 41, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, School of Business and Economics.
    6. Michael Pflüger & Stephan Russek, 2014. "Trade and Industrial Policies with Heterogeneous Firms: The Role of Country Asymmetries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 170-188, February.
    7. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 317-390, Elsevier.
    8. Arnaud Costinot & Andrés Rodríguez‐Clare & Iván Werning, 2020. "Micro to Macro: Optimal Trade Policy With Firm Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(6), pages 2739-2776, November.
    9. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion & Yasusada Murata & Jens Südekum, 2014. "Trade, Wages, And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1305-1348, November.
    10. Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2016. "The Effects of Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 11104, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    11. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2015. "The welfare consequences of import tariffs: A quantitative perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 295-309.
    12. ARA Tomohiro, 2021. "Competition, Productivity and Trade, Reconsidered," Discussion papers 21032, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    13. Pflüger, Michael P. & Russek, Stephan, 2010. "Trade and Industrial Policies with Heterogeneous Firms: The Role of Country Asymmetries," IZA Discussion Papers 5387, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    14. Hillberry, Russell & Hummels, David, 2013. "Trade Elasticity Parameters for a Computable General Equilibrium Model," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, in: Peter B. Dixon & Dale Jorgenson (ed.), Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 0, pages 1213-1269, Elsevier.
    15. Michael Pflüger & Stephan Russek, 2011. "Trade and Industrial Policies with Heterogeneous Firms: The Role of Country Asymmetries," Working Papers 094, Bavarian Graduate Program in Economics (BGPE).
    16. Hajime Takatsuka & Dao‐Zhi Zeng, 2022. "Mobile capital, optimal tariff, and tariff war," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 166-204, February.
    17. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2018. "Global Firms," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(2), pages 565-619, June.
    18. Stefano Bolatto & Massimo Sbracia, 2016. "Deconstructing the Gains from Trade: Selection of Industries vs Reallocation of Workers," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(2), pages 344-363, May.
    19. Dutt, Pushan & Mihov, Ilian & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2013. "The effect of WTO on the extensive and the intensive margins of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 204-219.
    20. Takumi Naito, 2021. "Can The Optimal Tariff Be Zero For A Growing Large Country?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 62(3), pages 1237-1280, August.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lmu:muenar:20591. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Tamilla Benkelberg (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/vfmunde.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.