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Heterogeneous Firms and Trade: Testable and Untestable Properties of the Melitz Model

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  • Richard Baldwin

Abstract

This paper sets out a basic heterogeneous-firms trade model that is closely akin to Melitz (2003). The positive and normative properties of the model are studied in a manner intended to highlight the core economic logic of the model. The paper also studies the impact of greater openness at the firm-level and aggregate level, focusing on changes in the number and type of firms, trade volumes and prices, and productivity effects. The normative effects of liberalisation are also studied and here the paper focuses on aggregate gains from trade, and income redistribution effects, showing inter alia that the model is marked by a Stolper-Samuelson like effect. A number of empirically testable hypotheses are also developed. These concern the impact of greater openness on the firm-level trade pattern, the variance of unit-prices, the stock market valuation of firms according to size, and the lobbying behaviour by size.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11471 Note: ITI
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Working Paper Series WP03-4, Peterson Institute for International Economics.
    2. 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.
    3. Feenstra, Robert & Rose, Andrew K, 1997. "Putting Things in Order: Patterns of Trade Dynamics and Macroeconomics," CEPR Discussion Papers 1629, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    5. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 300-316.
    6. 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.
    7. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    8. Wolfgang Keller, 2004. "International Technology Diffusion," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, pages 752-782.
    9. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    10. Sébastien Jean, 2002. "International Trade and Firms' Heterogeneity under Monopolistic Competition," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 291-311, July.
    11. 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.
    12. Bee Yan Aw & Sukkyun Chung & Mark J. Roberts, 1998. "Productivity and the Decision to Export: Micro Evidence from Taiwan and South Korea," NBER Working Papers 6558, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Montagna, Catia, 2001. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, pages 27-44.
    14. Wang, Zhen Kun & Winters, L. Alan, 1991. "The Trading Potential of Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business
    • F3 - International Economics - - International Finance

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