IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Asymmetric Trade Liberalisation, Sector Heterogeneity and Innovation


  • Antonio Navas Ruiz

    () (Department of Economics, The University of Sheffield)


Innovation, mark-ups and the degree of trade openness vary substantially across sectors. This paper builds a multi-sector endogenous growth model to study the influence of asymmetric trade liberalisation and sectoral differences in the degree of product market competition on the effect that trade has on R&D investments at a firm level. I find that differences in the degree of competition generate large differences in firm innovative responses to trade liberalisation. A movement from autarky to free trade promotes innovation and productivity growth in those sectors which are initially less competitive. However, when the initial tariff level is common across sectors, a homogeneous tariff reduction promotes innovation in those sectors which are initially more competitive. The paper suggests that trade liberalisation could be a source of industry productivity divergence: firms that are located in industries with greater exposure to foreign trade, invest a greater amount in R&D contributing to industry productivity growth. Finally the paper outlines the importance of reallocation effects within industry and across industries that are the result of these asymmetries. An asymmetric trade liberalisation has a small but negative impact on aggregate productivity growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Antonio Navas Ruiz, 2013. "Asymmetric Trade Liberalisation, Sector Heterogeneity and Innovation," Working Papers 2013009, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2013009

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: First version, 2013
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Matteo Bugamelli & Silvia Fabiani & Enrico Sette, 2010. "The pro-competitive effect of imports from China: an analysis of firm-level price data," Temi di discussione (Economic working papers) 737, Bank of Italy, Economic Research and International Relations Area.
    3. Navas Antonio & Licandro Omar, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Competition and Growth," The B.E. Journal of Macroeconomics, De Gruyter, vol. 11(1), pages 1-28, May.
    4. Baldwin, Richard E. & Robert-Nicoud, Frederic, 2008. "Trade and growth with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 21-34, January.
    5. Nina Pavcnik, 2002. "Trade Liberalization, Exit, and Productivity Improvements: Evidence from Chilean Plants," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 245-276.
    6. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    7. Navas-Ruiz, Antonio & Sala, Davide, 2007. "Technology adoption and the selection effect of trade," UC3M Working papers. Economics we076737, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía.
    8. Epifani, Paolo & Gancia, Gino, 2011. "Trade, markup heterogeneity and misallocations," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(1), pages 1-13, January.
    9. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    10. Chen, Natalie & Imbs, Jean & Scott, Andrew, 2009. "The dynamics of trade and competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 50-62, February.
    11. Bernhofen, Daniel M., 1999. "Intra-industry trade and strategic interaction: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 225-244, February.
    12. Traca, Daniel A., 2002. "Imports as competitive discipline: the role of the productivity gap," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-21, October.
    13. Andrew Atkeson & Ariel Tomás Burstein, 2010. "Innovation, Firm Dynamics, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(3), pages 433-484, June.
    14. Maurice Kugler & John Haltiwanger & Adriana Kugler & Marcela Eslava, 2009. "Trade Reforms and Market Selection: Evidence from Manufacturing Plants in Colombia," 2009 Meeting Papers 615, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    15. Alla Lileeva & Daniel Trefler, 2007. "Improved Access to Foreign Markets Raises Plant-Level Productivity ... for Some Plants," NBER Working Papers 13297, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    16. Paula Bustos, 2011. "Trade Liberalization, Exports, and Technology Upgrading: Evidence on the Impact of MERCOSUR on Argentinian Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(1), pages 304-340, February.
    17. Navas, Antonio, 2010. "La Apertura al Comercio Exterior y sus Efectos sobre la Productividad en Presencia de Diferencias Intersectoriales," Working Papers in Economic Theory 2010/04, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (Spain), Department of Economic Analysis (Economic Theory and Economic History).
    18. Rivera-Batiz, Luis A. & Romer, Paul M., 1991. "International trade with endogenous technological change," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 35(4), pages 971-1001, May.
    19. 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.
    20. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
    21. 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.
    22. R. Cellini & L. Lambertini, 2004. "R&D Incentives and Market Structure: A Dynamic Analysis," Working Papers 497, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
    23. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity (DOI:10.111/j.1467-937x.2007.00463.x)," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(3), pages 985-985.
    24. Philippe Aghion & Christopher Harris & Peter Howitt & John Vickers, 2001. "Competition, Imitation and Growth with Step-by-Step Innovation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 68(3), pages 467-492.
    25. Peretto, Pietro F., 2003. "Endogenous market structure and the growth and welfare effects of economic integration," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 177-201, May.
    26. 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.
    27. Josh Ederington & Phillip McCalman, 2007. "The Impact of Trade Liberalization on Productivity Within and Across Industries: Theory and Evidence," Monash Economics Working Papers 24-07, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    28. Rachel Griffith & Rupert Harrison & Helen Simpson, 2006. "The link between product market reform, innovation and EU macroeconomic performance," European Economy - Economic Papers 2008 - 2015 243, Directorate General Economic and Financial Affairs (DG ECFIN), European Commission.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rudy Colacicco, 2015. "Ten Years Of General Oligopolistic Equilibrium: A Survey," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 965-992, December.

    More about this item


    sectorial productivity; international trade; innovation;

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • O43 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Institutions and Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:shf:wpaper:2013009. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jacob Holmes). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.