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Trade Costs, Innovation, and the Gains from Trade

  • Jeff Thurk

    (University of Notre Dame)

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    We ask whether incorporating product quality differentiation has real effects on trade flows and welfare. We develop and calibrate a multi-country, general equilibrium model of international trade that includes endogenous product quality differentiation amongst heterogeneous firms. Separable transportation and ad valorem trade costs as in Hummels and Skiba (2004) creates a mechanism for product quality to have real effects. The model provides a framework to quantify the effects of quality dierentiation on trade flows and welfare in response to a trade liberalization. We find that this channel amplifies the effects of trade liberalization on welfare and exports by 46% and 34%, respectively. Roughly 80% of these effects are driven by liberalization of tariffs rather than transport or fixed export costs.

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    File URL: https://www.economicdynamics.org/meetpapers/2012/paper_141.pdf
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    Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2012 Meeting Papers with number 141.

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    Date of creation: 2012
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    Handle: RePEc:red:sed012:141
    Contact details of provider: Postal: Society for Economic Dynamics Christian Zimmermann Economic Research Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis PO Box 442 St. Louis MO 63166-0442 USA
    Fax: 1-314-444-8731
    Web page: http://www.EconomicDynamics.org/society.htm
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    1. Natalia Ramondo, 2006. "Size, Geography, and Multinational Production," 2006 Meeting Papers 472, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Ina Simonovska & Michael E. Waugh, 2011. "The Elasticity of Trade: Estimates and Evidence," NBER Working Papers 16796, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Antoine Gervais, 2013. "Product Quality and Firm Heterogeneity in International Trade," Working Papers 13-08, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    4. Costas Arkolakis, 2008. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 14214, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Juan Carlos Hallak & Jagadeesh Sivadasan, 2009. "Firms' Exporting Behavior under Quality Constraints," Working Papers 09-13, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    6. David Hummels & Alexandre Skiba, 2002. "Shipping the Good Apples Out? An Empirical Confirmation of the Alchian-Allen Conjecture," NBER Working Papers 9023, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Robert C. Feenstra & Robert E. Lipsey & Haiyan Deng & Alyson C. Ma & Hengyong Mo, 2005. "World Trade Flows: 1962-2000," NBER Working Papers 11040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2002. "Technology, Geography, and Trade," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 1741-1779, September.
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