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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. Paolo Epifani & Gino Gancia, 2007. "Trade, markup heterogeneity and misallocations," Economics Working Papers 1037, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  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. Robert C. Feenstra & David E. Weinstein, 2010. "Globalization, Markups and U.S. Welfare," NBER Working Papers 15749, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Michael Peters, 2011. "Heterogeneous Mark-Ups and Endogenous Misallocation," 2011 Meeting Papers 78, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," NBER Working Papers 10314, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. James Levinsohn & Amil Petrin, 2003. "Estimating Production Functions Using Inputs to Control for Unobservables," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 317-341.
  8. 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.
  9. Richard Pomfret & Patricia Sourdin, 2010. "Why do trade costs vary?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 146(4), pages 709-730, December.
  10. Rogerson, Richard & Wallenius, Johanna, 2009. "Micro and macro elasticities in a life cycle model with taxes," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 144(6), pages 2277-2292, November.
  11. Pravin Krishna & Devashish Mitra, . "Trade Liberalization, Market Discipline and Productivity Growth: New Evidence From India," Working Papers 96-8, Brown University, Department of Economics.
  12. 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.
  13. repec:pri:cepsud:231deloecker is not listed on IDEAS
  14. 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.
  15. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
  16. Harrison, Ann E., 1994. "Productivity, imperfect competition and trade reform : Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(1-2), pages 53-73, February.
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