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Optimism, Pessimism, and the Gains from Trade

  • Blanchard, Michel
  • Blanchard, Frederic

This paper examines the debate over the gains from trade when international differences in the risk perception of heterogeneous managers provide the basis for trade: the relatively optimistic country exports the risky commodity whereas the relatively pessimistic country exports the certain commodity. We show that optimal trade policy depends on the choice of the welfare criterion, as ex-ante and ex-post criteria often lead to opposing conclusions. The more optimistic country is always better off ex-ante whereas it can end up worse off ex-post. The more pessimistic country may be worse off/better off ex-ante but better off/worse off according to the ex-post welfare criterion.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 6342.

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Date of creation: 18 Dec 2007
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:6342
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  1. David M. G. Newbery & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 1984. "Pareto Inferior Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 51(1), pages 1-12.
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  8. Brainard, William C. & Cooper, Richard N., 1968. "Uncertainty and Diversification in International Trade," Food Research Institute Studies, Stanford University, Food Research Institute, issue 03.
  9. Sébastien Jean, 2000. "International Trade and Firms’ Heterogeneity Under Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 2000-13, CEPII research center.
  10. Shy, Oz, 1988. "A general equilibrium model of pareto inferior trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 143-154, August.
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  12. Chris Starmer, 2000. "Developments in Non-expected Utility Theory: The Hunt for a Descriptive Theory of Choice under Risk," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 332-382, June.
  13. Lucas, Robert Jr. & Prescott, Edward C., 1974. "Equilibrium search and unemployment," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 188-209, February.
  14. Kahneman, Daniel & Tversky, Amos, 1979. "Prospect Theory: An Analysis of Decision under Risk," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 263-91, March.
  15. Frederic Peltrault & Michel Blanchard, 2004. "The welfare effects of international trade with optimistic and pessimistic managers," Economics Bulletin, AccessEcon, vol. 6(15), pages 1-10.
  16. Kihlstrom, Richard E & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1979. "A General Equilibrium Entrepreneurial Theory of Firm Formation Based on Risk Aversion," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(4), pages 719-48, August.
  17. Hammond, Peter J, 1981. "Ex-ante and Ex-post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 235-50, August.
  18. Doherty, Neil A & Eeckhoudt, Louis, 1995. "Optimal Insurance without Expected Utility: The Dual Theory and the Linearity of Insurance Contracts," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, vol. 10(2), pages 157-79, March.
  19. Juan D. Carrillo & Thomas Mariotti, 2000. "Strategic Ignorance as a Self-Disciplining Device," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(3), pages 529-544.
  20. Charles Blackorby & David Donaldson & Philippe Mongin, 2004. "Social Aggregation Without the Expected Utility Hypothesis," Working Papers hal-00242932, HAL.
  21. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
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