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New Trade Models, New Welfare Implications

  • Marc Melitz
  • Stephen Redding

We show that endogenous firm selection provides a new welfare margin for heterogeneous firm models of trade (relative to homogeneous firm models). Under some parameter restrictions, the trade elasticity is constant and is a sufficient statistic for welfare, along with the domestic trade share. However, even small deviations from these restrictions imply that trade elasticities are variable and differ across markets and levels of trade costs. In this more general setting, the domestic trade share and endogenous trade elasticity are no longer sufficient statistics for welfare. Additional empirically observable moments of the micro structure also matter for welfare.KEYWORDS: firm heterogeneity, welfare gains from trade, trade policy evaluationJ.E.L. CLASSIFICATION: F12, F15

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Paper provided by Harvard University OpenScholar in its series Working Paper with number 65406.

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  1. 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.
  2. Andrew.B Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in international trade," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 3682, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, firm dynamics, and international trade," Staff Report 444, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
  4. Andrew B Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and productivity in international trade," Working Papers 00-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  5. Marc J. Melitz & Stephen J. Redding, 2012. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," CEP Discussion Papers dp1183, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  6. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
  7. Novy, Dennis, 2012. "International Trade without CES: Estimating Translog Gravity," CAGE Online Working Paper Series 101, Competitive Advantage in the Global Economy (CAGE).
  8. Costinot, Arnaud & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2014. "Trade Theory with Numbers: Quantifying the Consequences of Globalization," Handbook of International Economics, Elsevier.
  9. Robert C. Feenstra, 2010. "Measuring the gains from trade under monopolistic competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 43(1), pages 1-28, February.
  10. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
  11. Robert C. Feenstra, 2014. "Restoring the Product Variety and Pro-competitive Gains from Trade with Heterogeneous Firms and Bounded Productivity," NBER Working Papers 19833, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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