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Competition, Markups, and the Gains from International Trade

  • Chris Edmond
  • Virgiliu Midrigan
  • Daniel Yi Xu

We study the gains from trade in a model with endogenously variable markups. We show that the pro-competitive gains from trade are large if the economy is characterized by (i) extensive misallocation, i.e., large inefficiencies associated with markups, and (ii) a weak pattern of cross-country comparative advantage in individual sectors. We find strong evidence for both of these ingredients using producer-level data for Taiwanese manufacturing establishments. Parameterizations of the model consistent with this data thus predict large pro-competitive gains from trade, much larger than those in standard Ricardian models. In stark contrast to standard Ricardian models, data on changes in trade volume are not sufficient for determining the gains from trade.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18041.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as Chris Edmond & Virgiliu Midrigan & Daniel Yi Xu, 2015. "Competition, Markups, and the Gains from International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(10), pages 3183-3221, October.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18041
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  1. Chen, Natalie & Imbs, Jean & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 50-62, February.
  2. De Loecker, Jan & Goldberg, Pinelopi Koujianou & Khandelwal, Amit & Pavcnik, Nina, 2012. "Prices, Markups and Trade Reform," CEPR Discussion Papers 8900, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Allan Collard-Wexler & John Asker & Jan De Loecker, 2011. "Productivity Volatility and the Misallocation of Resources in Developing Economies," Working Papers 11-13, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
  4. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2009. "Trade, Markup Heterogeneity and Misallocations," KITeS Working Papers 005, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Apr 2009.
  5. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2008. "Why Do Trade Costs Vary?," School of Economics Working Papers 2008-08, University of Adelaide, School of Economics.
  6. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
  7. Michael Peters, 2011. "Heterogeneous Mark-Ups and Endogenous Misallocation," 2011 Meeting Papers 78, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  8. Robert C. Feenstra & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Globalization, Markups and U.S. Welfare," NBER Working Papers 15749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Beatriz de Blas & Katheryn N. Russ, 2010. "Teams of rivals: endogenous markups in a Ricardian world," Globalization and Monetary Policy Institute Working Paper 67, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.
  10. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 1998. "Trade liberalization, market discipline and productivity growth: new evidence from India," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 447-462, August.
  11. Grubel, Herbert G & Lloyd, P J, 1971. "The Empirical Measurement of Intra- Industry Trade," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 47(120), pages 494-517, December.
  12. Richard Rogerson & Johanna Wallenius, 2007. "Micro and Macro Elasticities in a Life Cycle Model With Taxes," NBER Working Papers 13017, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains From Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585.
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