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Delocation and Trade Agreements in Imperfectly Competitive Markets

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  • Kyle Bagwell
  • Robert W. Staiger

Abstract

We consider the purpose and design of trade agreements in imperfectly competitive environments featuring firm-delocation effects. In both the segmented-market Cournot and the integrated-market monopolistic competition settings where these effects have been identified, we show that the only rationale for a trade agreement is to remedy the inefficiency attributable to the terms-of-trade externality, the same rationale that arises in perfectly competitive markets. Furthermore, and again as in the perfectly competitive benchmark case, we show that the principle of reciprocity is efficiency enhancing, as it serves to "undo" the terms-of-trade driven inefficiency that occurs when governments pursue unilateral trade policies. Our results therefore indicate that the terms-of-trade theory of trade agreements applies to a broader set of market structures than previously thought.

Suggested Citation

  • Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2009. "Delocation and Trade Agreements in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," NBER Working Papers 15444, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15444
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
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    5. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2012. "The economics of trade agreements in the linear Cournot delocation model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 32-46.
    6. 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.
    7. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "Tariff Protection and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 517, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
    8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Profit Shifting And Trade Agreements In Imperfectly Competitive Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1067-1104, November.
    9. Pol Antràs & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Offshoring and the Role of Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(7), pages 3140-3183, December.
    10. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
    11. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    12. Dixit, Avinash, 1984. "International Trade Policy for Oligopolistic Industries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 94(376a), pages 1-16, Supplemen.
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    14. Venables, Anthony J., 1985. "Trade and trade policy with imperfect competition: The case of identical products and free entry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
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    16. Richard E. Baldwin & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2000. "Free trade agreements without delocation," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(3), pages 766-786, August.
    17. Manuel Amador & Kyle Bagwell, 2013. "The Theory of Optimal Delegation With an Application to Tariff Caps," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1541-1599, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haaland, Jan I. & Venables, Anthony J., 2016. "Optimal trade policy with monopolistic competition and heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 85-95.
    2. David R. DeRemer, 2016. "Income Effects and Trade Agreements," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1616, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
    3. Gene M. Grossman, 2016. "The Purpose of Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 22070, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W., 2012. "The economics of trade agreements in the linear Cournot delocation model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 32-46.
    5. Pascal Mossay & Takatoshi Tabuchi, 2015. "Preferential Trade Agreements Harm Third Countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 125(589), pages 1964-1985, December.
    6. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2012. "Profit Shifting And Trade Agreements In Imperfectly Competitive Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 53(4), pages 1067-1104, November.
    7. Kyle Bagwell & Chad P. Bown & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "Is the WTO Passé?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 54(4), pages 1125-1231, December.
    8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2009. "The WTO: Theory and Practice," NBER Working Papers 15445, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino, 2017. "Global imbalances revisited: The transfer problem and transport costs in monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 99-116.
    10. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(1), pages 13-25.
    11. Robert W. Staiger & Alan O. Sykes, 2016. "The Economic Structure of International Trade-in-Services Agreements," NBER Working Papers 22960, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Campolmi, Alessia & Fadinger, Harald & Forlati, Chiara, 2014. "Trade policy: Home market effect versus terms-of-trade externality," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 92-107.
    13. Ralph Ossa, 2014. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks with Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(12), pages 4104-4146, December.
    14. Kawabata, Yasushi, 2015. "Endogenous formation of free trade agreements in vertically related markets," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 214-223.
    15. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
    16. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2016. "The Design of Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 22087, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. Etro, Federico, 2015. "Research in economics and political economy," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 261-264.
    18. David De Remer, 2013. "Domestic Policy Coordination in Imperfectly Competitive Markets," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2013-46, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. Lahiri, Sajal & Ono, Yoshiyasu, 2015. "Pollution, foreign direct investment, and welfare," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(2), pages 238-247.
    20. David R. DeRemer, 2016. "The Principle of Reciprocity in the 21st Century," IEHAS Discussion Papers 1613, Institute of Economics, Centre for Economic and Regional Studies, Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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