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Is the Armington Elasticity Really Constant across Importers?

  • Yilmazkuday, Hakan

This paper shows that the Armington elasticity, which refers to both the elasticity of substitution across goods and the price elasticity of demand under the assumption of a large number of varieties, systematically changes from one importer country to another in an international trade context. Then a natural question to ask is "What determines the Armington elasticity?" The answer comes from the distinction between the elasticity of demand with respect to the destination price (i.e., the Armington elasticity) and the elasticity of demand with respect to the source price. Under additive trade costs, it is shown that the elasticity of demand with respect to the destination price is equal to the sum of the elasticity of demand with respect to the source price and the elasticity of demand with respect to the trade costs. The empirical results using the United States export data at the state level support this relation; hence, it is more likely to have a constant elasticity of demand with respect to the source price rather than a constant Armington elasticity under additive trade costs. In terms of policy implications, the constant Armington elasticity undervalues the effects of a policy change around 3 or 4 times compared to the importer-specific Armington elasticities.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15954.

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Date of creation: Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15954
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  2. Harrigan, James, 1996. "Openness to trade in manufactures in the OECD," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(1-2), pages 23-39, February.
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  4. McDaniel, Christine A. & Balistreri, Edward J., 2002. "A Discussion on Armington Trade Substitution Elasticities," Working Papers 15856, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
  5. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 707-27, July.
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  8. Kiminori Matsuyama, 1995. "Complementarities and Cumulative Processes in Models of Monopolistic Competition," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(2), pages 701-729, June.
  9. Hickman, Bert G. & Lau, Lawrence J., 1973. "Elasticities of substitution and export demands in a world trade model," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 347-380, December.
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  14. Gallaway, Michael P. & McDaniel, Christine A. & Rivera, Sandra A., 2003. "Short-run and long-run industry-level estimates of U.S. Armington elasticities," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 49-68, March.
  15. Irving B. Kravis & Robert E. Lipsey, 1972. "The Elasticity of Substitution as a Variable in World Trade," NBER Chapters, in: International Comparisons of Prices and Output, pages 369-398 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Millimet, Daniel & Henderson, Daniel, 2006. "Is Gravity Linear?," Departmental Working Papers 0517, Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics.
  17. James E. Anderson & Eric van Wincoop, 2004. "Trade Costs," NBER Working Papers 10480, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  19. Robert Dekle & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2008. "Global Rebalancing with Gravity: Measuring the Burden of Adjustment," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 55(3), pages 511-540, July.
  20. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
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