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Intransparent markets and intra-industry trade

Buyers are typically unaware of the full set of offers when making a purchase. This paper examines how international trade interacts with this problem of market intransparency. Sellers must communicate their offers through costly advertising, but cannot reach all buyers. Consequently, no market clearing price exists, and sellers randomize over an equilibrium price distribution. Sellers will wish to spread advertisement costs across markets, leading to international trade, which would not take place under complete information. Buyers then receive more offers, leading to lower prices and buyer surplus gains. Sellers in the model are identical, but appear heterogeneous due to their price randomization. If sellers differ slightly, these differences will be greatly magnified. Finally, the model rationalizes very infrequent exporters as firms offering disadvantageous, but profitable, deals to foreign buyers.

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File URL: ftp://mse.univ-paris1.fr/pub/mse/CES2012/12017.pdf
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Paper provided by Université Panthéon-Sorbonne (Paris 1), Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne in its series Documents de travail du Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne with number 12017.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mse:cesdoc:12017
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  1. Jacques Melitz, 2003. "Language and Foreign Trade," Working Papers 2003-26, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  2. Portes, Richard & Rey, Hélène, 1999. "The Determinants of Cross-Border Equity Flows," CEPR Discussion Papers 2225, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Michael R. Baye & John Morgan & Patrick Scholten, 2006. "Information, Search, and Price Dispersion," Working Papers 2006-11, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
  4. James E. Rauch, 1996. "Networks versus Markets in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 5617, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Julien Martin, 2010. "Markups, Quality and Transport Costs," Working Papers 2010-17, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. 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.
  7. Pol Antras & Luis Garicano & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2005. "Offshoring in a Knowledge Economy," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 2067, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  8. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  9. Robert C. Feenstra & Matthew D. Shapiro, 2003. "Scanner Data and Price Indexes," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen03-1.
  10. Ottaviano, Gianmarco & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Scholarly Articles 3229096, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Roc Armenter & Miklos Koren, 2009. "Economies of scale and the size of exporters," Working Papers 09-15, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  12. Karen Clay & Ramayya Krishnan & Eric Wolff, 2001. "Prices and Price Dispersion on the Web: Evidence from the Online Book Industry," NBER Working Papers 8271, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Jonathan Eaton & Marcela Eslava & Maurice Kugler & James Tybout, 2007. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," NBER Working Papers 13531, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Paul R. Milgrom & John Roberts, 1984. "Price and Advertising Signals of Product Quality," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 709, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  15. Costas Arkolakis, 2008. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Choi, Jay Pil, 1998. "Brand Extension as Informational Leverage," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(4), pages 655-69, October.
  17. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2008. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 1978-97, December.
  18. Ernest Aksen & Jacek Cukrowski, 2001. "Perfect Competition and Intra-Industry Trade," CASE-CEU Working Papers 0040, CASE-Center for Social and Economic Research.
  19. J.Peter Neary, 2003. "Globalisation and Market Structure," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 100, Netherlands Central Bank.
  20. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(3), pages 691-751, September.
  21. repec:hrv:faseco:4784031 is not listed on IDEAS
  22. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
  23. Pratt, John W & Wise, David A & Zeckhauser, Richard, 1979. "Price Differences in Almost Competitive Markets," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 93(2), pages 189-211, May.
  24. Jakob R. Munch & Daniel X., 2008. "Decomposing Firm-level Sales Variation," EPRU Working Paper Series 2009-05, Economic Policy Research Unit (EPRU), University of Copenhagen. Department of Economics, revised Jun 2009.
  25. Nelson, Philip, 1974. "Advertising as Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(4), pages 729-54, July/Aug..
  26. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2003. "Information, International Substitutability, and Globalization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 775-791, June.
  27. Burdett, Kenneth & Judd, Kenneth L, 1983. "Equilibrium Price Dispersion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 51(4), pages 955-69, July.
  28. James E. Rauch & Vitor Trindade, 2002. "Ethnic Chinese Networks In International Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 116-130, February.
  29. James E. Rauch, 2001. "Business and Social Networks in International Trade," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(4), pages 1177-1203, December.
  30. Clay, Karen, et al, 2002. "Retail Strategies on the Web: Price and Non-price Competition in the Online Book Industry," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(3), pages 351-67, September.
  31. Butters, Gerard R, 1977. "Equilibrium Distributions of Sales and Advertising Prices," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(3), pages 465-91, October.
  32. George J. Stigler, 1961. "The Economics of Information," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 69, pages 213.
  33. Nelson, Phillip, 1970. "Information and Consumer Behavior," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 78(2), pages 311-29, March-Apr.
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