IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/21370.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade

Author

Listed:
  • Costas Arkolakis
  • Arnaud Costinot
  • Dave Donaldson
  • Andrés Rodríguez-Clare

Abstract

We study the gains from trade liberalization in models with monopolistic competition, firm-level heterogeneity, and variable markups. For a large class of demand functions used in the international macro and trade literature, we derive a parsimonious generalization of the welfare formula in Arkolakis, Costinot, and Rodríguez-Clare (2012). We then use micro-level trade data to quantify the implications of this new formula. Our main finding is that gains from trade liberalization predicted by models with variable markups are slightly lower than those predicted by models with constant markups. In this sense, pro-competitive effects of trade are elusive.

Suggested Citation

  • Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2015. "The Elusive Pro-Competitive Effects of Trade," NBER Working Papers 21370, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21370
    Note: ITI
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21370.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Feenstra, Robert C., 2018. "Restoring the product variety and pro-competitive gains from trade with heterogeneous firms and bounded productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 16-27.
    2. 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.
    3. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 21(3), pages 105-130, Summer.
    4. 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.
    5. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2016. "Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 445-510, March.
    6. Novy, Dennis, 2013. "International trade without CES: Estimating translog gravity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 271-282.
    7. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    8. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2003. "Gravity with Gravitas: A Solution to the Border Puzzle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 170-192, March.
    9. Simonovska, Ina & Waugh, Michael E., 2014. "The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 34-50.
    10. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino, 2011. "Trade, markup heterogeneity and misallocations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-13, January.
    11. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum & Francis Kramarz, 2004. "Dissecting Trade: Firms, Industries, and Export Destinations," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(2), pages 150-154, May.
    12. Richard Baldwin & James Harrigan, 2011. "Zeros, Quality, and Space: Trade Theory and Trade Evidence," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 3(2), pages 60-88, May.
    13. Swati Dhingra & John Morrow, 2012. "The Impact of Integration on Productivity and Welfare Distortions Under Monopolistic Competition," FIW Working Paper series 088, FIW.
    14. Marc J. Melitz & Giancarlo I. P. Ottaviano, 2021. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Firms and Workers in a Globalized World Larger Markets, Tougher Competition, chapter 4, pages 87-108, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Burstein, Ariel & Gopinath, Gita, 2014. "International Prices and Exchange Rates," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 391-451, Elsevier.
    16. 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.
    17. Feenstra, Robert C., 2003. "A homothetic utility function for monopolistic competition models, without constant price elasticity," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 79-86, January.
    18. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-959, December.
    19. Basu, Susanto & Fernald, John G., 2002. "Aggregate productivity and aggregate technology," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(6), pages 963-991, June.
    20. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion & Yasusada Murata & Jens Südekum, 2014. "Trade, Wages, And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1305-1348, November.
    21. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-1146, March.
    22. 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, June.
    23. Levinsohn, James, 1993. "Testing the imports-as-market-discipline hypothesis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1-2), pages 1-22, August.
    24. Evgeny Zhelobodko & Sergey Kokovin & Mathieu Parenti & Jacques-François Thisse, 2011. "Monopolistic competition in general equilibrium: Beyond the CES," PSE Working Papers halshs-00566431, HAL.
    25. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2014. "Welfare and Trade without Pareto," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 310-316, May.
    26. Jan De Loecker & Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Amit K. Khandelwal & Nina Pavcnik, 2016. "Prices, Markups, and Trade Reform," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 84, pages 445-510, March.
    27. Ina Simonovska, 2015. "Income Differences and Prices of Tradables: Insights from an Online Retailer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 82(4), pages 1612-1656.
    28. José Antonio Rodríguez-López, 2011. "Prices and Exchange Rates: A Theory of Disconnect," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 78(3), pages 1135-1177.
    29. Novy, Dennis, 2010. "International Trade and Monopolistic Competition without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 929, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    30. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    31. Simonovska, Ina & Waugh, Michael E., 2014. "The elasticity of trade: Estimates and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(1), pages 34-50.
    32. Behrens, Kristian & Murata, Yasusada, 2012. "Globalization and individual gains from trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(8), pages 703-720.
    33. 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.
    34. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151-1199.
    35. Peter J. Klenow & Jonathan L. Willis, 2016. "Real Rigidities and Nominal Price Changes," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 83(331), pages 443-472, July.
    36. Justin Pierce & Peter Schott, 2009. "Concording U.S. Harmonized System Categories Over Time," Working Papers 09-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    37. Keith Head & Thierry Mayer & Mathias Thoenig, 2014. "Welfare and Trade without Pareto," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 310-316, May.
    38. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
    39. Philip Sauré, 2012. "Bounded Love of Variety and Patterns of Trade," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 23(4), pages 645-674, September.
    40. Ina Simonovska, 2009. "Income Differences and Prices of Tradables," 2009 Meeting Papers 692, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    41. repec:hrv:faseco:34299161 is not listed on IDEAS
    42. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    43. Kimball, Miles S, 1995. "The Quantitative Analytics of the Basic Neomonetarist Model," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 27(4), pages 1241-1277, November.
    44. 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.
    45. Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), 2014. "Handbook of International Economics," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 4, number 4.
    46. 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.
    47. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Ivana Komunjer, 2012. "What Goods Do Countries Trade? A Quantitative Exploration of Ricardo's Ideas," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 79(2), pages 581-608.
    48. Novy, Dennis, 2010. "International Trade without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 32, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
    49. repec:pri:cepsud:231deloecker is not listed on IDEAS
    50. Deaton, Angus S & Muellbauer, John, 1980. "An Almost Ideal Demand System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(3), pages 312-326, June.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Bas, Maria & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2017. "From micro to macro: Demand, supply, and heterogeneity in the trade elasticity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-19.
    2. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    3. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 197-261, Elsevier.
    4. Feenstra, Robert C., 2018. "Restoring the product variety and pro-competitive gains from trade with heterogeneous firms and bounded productivity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 16-27.
    5. Monika Mrázová & J. Peter Neary, 2017. "Not So Demanding: Demand Structure and Firm Behavior," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 107(12), pages 3835-3874, December.
    6. Treb Allen & Costas Arkolakis & Yuta Takahashi, 2020. "Universal Gravity," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 128(2), pages 393-433.
    7. Kristian Behrens & Giordano Mion & Yasusada Murata & Jens Südekum, 2014. "Trade, Wages, And Productivity," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 55(4), pages 1305-1348, November.
    8. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    9. Bas, Maria & Mayer, Thierry & Thoenig, Mathias, 2017. "From micro to macro: Demand, supply, and heterogeneity in the trade elasticity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 1-19.
    10. Mrázová, Monika & Neary, J. Peter, 2020. "IO for exports(s)," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 70(C).
    11. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2015. "New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(3), pages 1105-1146, March.
    12. Nigai, Sergey, 2017. "A tale of two tails: Productivity distribution and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 104(C), pages 44-62.
    13. Ziran Ding, 2022. "Firm heterogeneity, variable markups, and multinational production: A review from trade policy perspective," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(5), pages 1311-1357, December.
    14. Fontagné, Lionel & Martin, Philippe & Orefice, Gianluca, 2018. "The international elasticity puzzle is worse than you think," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 115-129.
    15. Hsu, Wen-Tai & Lu, Yi & Wu, Guiying Laura, 2020. "Competition, markups, and gains from trade: A quantitative analysis of China between 1995 and 2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 122(C).
    16. Etro, Federico, 2017. "Research in economics and monopolistic competition," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(4), pages 645-649.
    17. Pablo D. Fajgelbaum & Amit K. Khandelwal, 2016. "Measuring the Unequal Gains from Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 131(3), pages 1113-1180.
    18. Christian Hepenstrick & Alexander Tarasov, 2015. "Per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(4), pages 1561-1599, November.
    19. Heiland, Inga & Kohler, Wilhelm, 2022. "Heterogeneous workers, trade, and migration," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).
    20. Kristian Behrens & Yasusada Murata, 2011. "Trade, Competition, and Efficiency (revised version)," Cahiers de recherche 1118, CIRPEE.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21370. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.