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Sub-national Differentiation and the Role of the Firm in Optimal International Pricing

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  • Edward J. Balistreri
  • James R. Markusen

Abstract

We illuminate the relationship between optimal firm pricing and optimal trade policy by exploring a generalized model that accommodates product differentiation at both the national and sub-national (firm) levels. We assume monopolistic competition in the differentiated products at the sub-national level. When the national and sub-national substitution elasticities are similar we find little opportunity for small countries to improve their terms of trade through trade distortions, because firms play an important preemptive role in optimally pricing unique varieties. We contrast this with standard applications of perfect-competition Armington models, which exhibit high optimal tariffs--even for relatively small countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Edward J. Balistreri & James R. Markusen, 2007. "Sub-national Differentiation and the Role of the Firm in Optimal International Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13130
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Markusen, James R. & Melvin, James R. & Maskus, Keith E. & Kaempfer, William, 1995. "International trade: theory and evidence," MPRA Paper 21989, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
    3. Drusilla K. Brown & Kozo Kiyota & Robert M. Stern, 2005. "Computational Analysis of the US FTAs with Central America, Australia and Morocco," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(10), pages 1441-1490, October.
    4. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 2009. "A North American Free Trade Agreement: Analytical Issues and a Computational Assessment," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Globalization And International Trade Policies, chapter 12, pages 393-424 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Rutherford, Thomas F, 1999. "Applied General Equilibrium Modeling with MPSGE as a GAMS Subsystem: An Overview of the Modeling Framework and Syntax," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 14(1-2), pages 1-46, October.
    6. Markusen, James R & Wigle, Randall M, 1989. "Nash Equilibrium Tariffs for the United States and Canada: The Roles of Country Size, Scale Economies, and Capital Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 368-386, April.
    7. Brown, Drusilla K., 1987. "Tariffs, the terms of trade, and national product differentiation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 503-526.
    8. Trefler, Daniel, 1995. "The Case of the Missing Trade and Other Mysteries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1029-1046, December.
    9. Markusen, James R., 1990. "Derationalizing tariffs with specialized intermediate inputs and differentiated final goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 375-383, May.
    10. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
    11. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar Publishing, volume 0, number 575.
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    Cited by:

    1. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    2. Akihito Asano & Rod Tyers, 2016. "Japan's oligopolies: potential gains from third arrow reforms," CAMA Working Papers 2016-03, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    3. Rod Tyers, 2015. "Service Oligopolies and Australia's Economy-Wide Performance," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 48(4), pages 333-356, December.
    4. repec:bla:worlde:v:40:y:2017:i:12:p:2564-2591 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2013. "Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
    6. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2012. "Tariffs and welfare in new trade theory models," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 41, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    7. Hübler, Michael & Pothen, Frank, 2017. "Trade-induced productivity gains reduce incentives to impose strategic tariffs," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 61(C), pages 420-431.
    8. Christoph Böhringer & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2017. "Paris after Trump: An Inconvenient Insight," CESifo Working Paper Series 6531, CESifo Group Munich.
    9. Tyers, Rod, 2014. "Looking inward for transformative growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 166-184.
    10. World Bank, 2016. "Assessing the Impact of WTO Accession on Belarus," World Bank Other Operational Studies 24698, The World Bank.
    11. Edward J. Balistreri & David G. Tarr & Hidemichi Yonezawa, 2015. "Deep Integration in Eastern and Southern Africa: What are the Stakes?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 24(5), pages 677-706.
    12. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Icebergs versus tariffs: A quantitative perspective on the gains from trade," University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance 53, University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences.
    13. Jesper Jensen & David Tarr, 2014. "Deep Trade Policy Options for Armenia: The Importance of Trade Facilitation, Services and Standards Liberalization," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: APPLIED TRADE POLICY MODELING IN 16 COUNTRIES Insights and Impacts from World Bank CGE Based Projects, chapter 19, pages 453-508 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    14. World Bank, 2012. "Kazakhstan : Assessment of Costs and Benefits of the Customs," World Bank Other Operational Studies 12299, The World Bank.
    15. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2012. "Subglobal carbon policy and the competitive selection of heterogeneous firms," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(S2), pages 190-197.
    16. repec:eee:ecmode:v:66:y:2017:i:c:p:214-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Vásquez Cordano, Arturo L. & Balistreri, Edward J., 2010. "The marginal cost of public funds of mineral and energy taxes in Peru," Resources Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 257-264, December.
    18. Lee, Hiro & Itakura, Ken, 2018. "The welfare and sectoral adjustment effects of mega-regional trade agreements on ASEAN countries," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 20-32.
    19. Jensen, Jesper & Tarr, David G., 2010. "Regional trade policy options for Tanzania : the importance of services commitments," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5481, The World Bank.
    20. Edward J. Balistreri & Zoryana Olekseyuk & David G. Tarr, 2017. "Privatisation and the unusual case of Belarusian accession to the WTO," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(12), pages 2564-2591, December.
    21. World Bank, 2012. "Assessment of Costs and Benefits of the Customs Union for Kazakhstan," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2722, The World Bank.
    22. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2015. "The welfare consequences of import tariffs: A quantitative perspective," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(2), pages 295-309.

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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