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Vertical Foreclosure and International Trade Policy

  • Barbara J. Spencer
  • Ronald W. Jones

We examine conditions under which a low cost vertically integrated manufacturer has an incentive to export an intermediate product to its higher cost (vertically integrated) rival rather than to vertically foreclose, fully cutting off supplies. The nature of supply conditions in the importing country, the size of an import tariff on the final good and optimal policy by the exporting country are all shown to be important for this decision. The exporting country may gain by taxing exports of the final (Cournot) product even though, under Cournot competition, an export subsidy is optimal in the absence of a market for intermediates. In this case, optimal policy also requires an export tax on intermediates, but the higher tax on final goods serves to divert sales to the more profitable market for intermediates increasing the extent of vertical supply. It is optimal to tax the export of both goods or to subsidize the export of both goods. It is never optimal to tax one and subsidize the other.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2920.

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Date of creation: Apr 1989
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Review of Economic Studies, Vol. 58, No. 1, pp. 153-170, (1991).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2920
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  1. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1983. "Raising Rivals' Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 73(2), pages 267-71, May.
  2. James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," NBER Working Papers 1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Eaton, Jonathan & Grossman, Gene M, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406, May.
  4. Dixit, Avinash, 1983. "Vertical integration in a monopolistically competitive industry," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 63-78, March.
  5. Venables, Anthony J., 1985. "Trade and trade policy with imperfect competition: The case of identical products and free entry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
  6. Spencer, Barbara J & Brander, James A, 1983. "International R & D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(4), pages 707-22, October.
  7. Dixit, Avinash K. & Grossman, Gene M., 1986. "Targeted export promotion with several oligopolistic industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 233-249, November.
  8. Salop, Steven C & Scheffman, David T, 1987. "Cost-Raising Strategies," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(1), pages 19-34, September.
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