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

  • Richard Baldwin

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.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w11471.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 11471.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:11471
Note: ITI
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  1. 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.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Catia Montagna, 1998. "Efficiency Gaps, Love of Variety and International Trade," Dundee Discussion Papers in Economics 090, Economic Studies, University of Dundee.
  4. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-38, June.
  5. Wang, Zhen Kun & Winters, L. Alan, 1991. "The Trading Potential of Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 610, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Wolfgang Keller, 2001. "International Technology Diffusion," NBER Working Papers 8573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sébastien Jean, 2000. "International Trade and Firms’ Heterogeneity Under Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 2000-13, CEPII research center.
  8. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2005. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," NBER Working Papers 11393, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. 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.
  10. Yeaple, Stephen & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2004. "Export versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," Scholarly Articles 3229098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  11. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "International Trade with Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. 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.
  13. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Peter K. Schott, 2003. "Falling Trade Costs, Heterogeneous Firms, and Industry Dynamics," Yale School of Management Working Papers ysm357, Yale School of Management.
  14. Melitz, Marc J, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," CEPR Discussion Papers 3381, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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