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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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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
Note: ITI
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  1. Ariel Burstein & Andrew Atkeson, 2009. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," 2009 Meeting Papers 186, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  2. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. 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.
  4. Michael Waugh & Ina Simonovska, 2012. "Different Trade Models, Different Trade Elasticities?," 2012 Meeting Papers 618, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  5. Novy, Dennis, 2012. "International Trade without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity," CEPR Discussion Papers 9125, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
  7. 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.
  8. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  9. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(1), pages 94-130, February.
  10. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
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