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International Trade with Endogenous Technological Change

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  • Luis A. Rivera-Batiz
  • Paul M. Romer

Abstract

To explain why trade restrictions sometimes speed up worldwide growth and sometimes slow it down, we exploit an analogy with the theory of consumer behavior. substitution effects make demand curves slope down, but income effects can increase or decrease the slope, and can sometimes overwhelm the substitution effect. We decompose changes in the worldwide growth rate into two effects (integration and redundancy) that unambiguously slow down growth, and a third effect (allocation) that can either speed it up or slow it down. We study two types of trade restrictions to illustrate the use of this decomposition. The first is across the board restrictions on traded goods in an otherwise perfect market. The second is selective protection of knowledge-intensive goods in a world with imperfect intellectual property rights. In both examples, we show that for trade between similar regions such as Europe and North America, the first two effects dominate; starting from free trade, restrictions unambiguously reduce worldwide growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "International Trade with Endogenous Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 3594, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3594
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    1. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1989. "Growth And Welfare In A Small Open Economy," Papers 15-89, Tel Aviv.
    2. Grossman, Gene M. & Helpman, Elhanan, 1989. "Growth and Welfare in a Small Open Economy," Foerder Institute for Economic Research Working Papers 275466, Tel-Aviv University > Foerder Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    4. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1991. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 531-555.
    5. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
    6. Dinopoulos, Elias & Oehmke, James F. & Segerstrom, Paul S., 1993. "High-technology-industry trade and investment : The role of factor endowments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(1-2), pages 49-71, February.
    7. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
    8. Feenstra, Robert C., 1996. "Trade and uneven growth," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(1), pages 229-256, April.
    9. Romer, Paul M, 1990. "Are Nonconvexities Important for Understanding Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 97-103, May.
    10. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-1091, December.
    11. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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