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New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications

  • Marc J. Melitz
  • Stephen J. Redding

We show that endogenous firm selection provides a new welfare margin for heterogeneous firm models of trade (relative to homogeneous firm models). Under some parameter restrictions, the trade elasticity is constant and is a sufficient statistic for welfare, along with the domestic trade share. However, even small deviations from these restrictions imply that trade elasticities are variable and differ across markets and levels of trade costs. In this more general setting, the domestic trade share and endogenous trade elasticity are no longer sufficient statistics for welfare. Additional empirically observable moments of the micro structure also matter for welfare.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18919.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18919.

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Date of creation: Mar 2013
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Publication status: published as Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-46, March.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18919
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  1. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  2. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
  4. Robert C. Feenstra, 2009. "Measuring the Gains from Trade under Monopolistic Competition," NBER Working Papers 15593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Novy, Dennis, 2012. "International Trade without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 101, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  6. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  7. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Tomás Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 433-484, 06.
  8. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
  9. 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.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra, 2014. "Restoring the Product Variety and Pro-competitive Gains from Trade with Heterogeneous Firms and Bounded Productivity," NBER Working Papers 19833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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