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Trade policy: home market effect versus terms of trade externality

  • Alessia Campolmi

    ()

    (Central European University and Magyar Nemzeti Bank, Hungary)

  • Harald Fadinger

    ()

    (University of Vienna, Austria)

  • Chiara Forlati

    ()

    (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, Switzerland)

We study trade policy in a two-sector Krugman-type trade model with home market effects. We conduct a general analysis allowing for three different instruments: tariffs, export taxes and production subsidies. For each instrument, we consider unilateral trade policy without retaliation. When carefully disentangling the different effects that determine policy makers’ choices and modeling general equilibrium effects of taxes/tariffs, we find – contrary to the results of previous studies – that production subsidies are always inefficiently low and driven by the incentives to improve the (welfare relevant) terms of trade. In the cases of tariffs and export taxes results depend crucially on whether the free trade allocation is efficient. When starting from an allocation that is distorted because of monopolistic competition, the home market effect (and in the case of export taxes also the desire to correct for the monopolistic inefficiency) induces policy makers to set a tariff (an export subsidy). However, when monopolistic distortions are corrected, terms of trade effects dominate the choice of trade policy and lead to an import subsidy (an export tax).

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File URL: http://english.mnb.hu/Root/Dokumentumtar/MNB/Kiadvanyok/mnbhu_mnbfuzetek/wp_2010_6_final.pdf
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Paper provided by Magyar Nemzeti Bank (the central bank of Hungary) in its series MNB Working Papers with number 2010/6.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mnb:wpaper:2010/6
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.mnb.hu/

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  1. 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.
  2. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Protection for Sale," Papers 162, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  3. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 163, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  4. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2009. "Delocation and Trade Agreements in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 15444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  6. V. V. Chari & Patrick J. Kehoe, 1998. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy," Staff Report 251, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  7. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2009. "Openness, Government Size and the Terms of Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(2), pages 629-668.
  8. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  9. 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.
  10. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Stokey, Nancy L., 1983. "Optimal fiscal and monetary policy in an economy without capital," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(1), pages 55-93.
  11. Dixit, Avinash, 1985. "Tax policy in open economies," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 313-374 Elsevier.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
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