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An Example of Procompetitive Trade Policies


  • Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez

    (Erasmus University, Tinbergen Institute and CESifo)

  • Jean-Marie Viaene

    (Erasmus University, Tinbergen Institute and CESifo)


The procompetitive effects of trade policies are analyzed in a foreign duopoly model of vertical product differentiation. A uniform tariff policy complying with the Most Favored Nation (MFN) clause is welfare superior to free trade because of a pure rent-extracting effect. A nonuniform tariff policy yields an even higher level of social welfare because of procompetitive effects. The optimalpolicyissensitivetofirms’ cost asymmetries: if these are high, imports of low quality are subsidized and imports of high quality face a tariff; otherwise, both imports face a tariff. Regional Trade Agreements (RTAs) are examples of such nonuniform tariff policies. They yield higher welfare than free trade because they are procompetitive; moreover, a RTA with a lowquality producing country yields larger gains than a RTA with a high-quality producing country because the former enables the importer to extract foreign rents.

Suggested Citation

  • Jose Luis Moraga-Gonzalez & Jean-Marie Viaene, 2003. "An Example of Procompetitive Trade Policies," Working Papers 504, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
  • Handle: RePEc:mie:wpaper:504

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    endogenous quality; hedonic prices; procompetitive policies; regional trade agreements;

    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
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration


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