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Welfare and Trade Without Pareto

  • Keith Head

    (Sauder School of Business [British Columbia])

  • Thierry Mayer

    (Département d'économie)

  • Mathias Thoenig

    (Centre Universitaire d'Informatique)

This paper investigates the consequences of replacing the assumption of Pareto heterogeneity with log-normal heterogeneity. This case is interesting because it (a) maintains some desirable analytic features of Pareto, (b) ts the complete distribution of rm sales rather than just approximating the right tail, and (c) can be generated under equally plausible processes (see online appendix). The log-normal is reasonably tractable but its use sacrices some \scale-free" properties conveyed by the Pareto distribution. Aspects of the the calibration that do not matter under Pareto lead to important dierences in the gains from trade under log-normal.

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Paper provided by Sciences Po in its series Sciences Po publications with number 2014-02.

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Date of creation: Feb 2014
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Handle: RePEc:spo:wpmain:info:hdl:2441/f6h8764enu2lskk9p2m9j4i07
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  1. Xavier Gabaix, 1999. "Zipf'S Law For Cities: An Explanation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(3), pages 739-767, August.
  2. Costas Arkolakis & Arnaud Costinot & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2009. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?," NBER Working Papers 15628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Reed, William J., 2001. "The Pareto, Zipf and other power laws," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 15-19, December.
  4. di Giovanni, Julian & Levchenko, Andrei A. & Rancière, Romain, 2010. "Power Laws in Firm Size and Openness to Trade: Measurement and Implications," CEPR Discussion Papers 7773, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  6. Rubinstein, Yona & Helpman, Elhanan & Melitz, Marc, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," Scholarly Articles 3228230, Harvard University Department of Economics.
  7. Jan Eeckhout, 2004. "Gibrat's Law for (All) Cities," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1429-1451, December.
  8. John Sutton, 1997. "Gibrat's Legacy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 40-59, March.
  9. Gabaix, Xavier & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2004. "The evolution of city size distributions," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, in: J. V. Henderson & J. F. Thisse (ed.), Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 53, pages 2341-2378 Elsevier.
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