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Robust rules for industrial policy in open economics

  • Dermot Leahy
  • J. Peter Neary

The theory of strategic trade policy yields ambiguous recommendations for assistance to exporting firms in oligopolistic industries. However, some writers have suggested that investment subsidies are a more robust recommendation than export subsidies. We show that, though ambiguous in principle, the case for investment subsidies is reasonably robust in practice. Except when functional forms exhibit arbitrary non-linearities, it holds under both Cournot and Bertrand competition, with either cost-reducing or market-expanding investment, and with or without spillovers. Only if firms have strong asymmetries in their investment behaviour and engage in Bertrand competition is an investment tax clearly justified.

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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200021.

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Date of creation: Jan 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200021
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  1. Maggi, G. & Grossman, G., 1997. "Free Trade vs Strategic Trade: A Peek into Pandora's Box," Papers 190, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  2. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1982. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," Working Papers 518, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  3. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  4. Neary, J.P. & Leahy, D., 1998. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy Towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Papers 98/14, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  5. Brander, James A., 1995. "Strategic trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 27, pages 1395-1455 Elsevier.
  6. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1999. "Learning by Doing, Precommitment and Infant-Industry Promotion," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 66(2), pages 447-74, April.
  7. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1990. "The Sensitivity of Strategic and Corrective R&D Policy in Oligopolistic Industries," NBER Working Papers 3236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  9. d'Aspremont, Claude & Jacquemin, Alexis, 1988. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(5), pages 1133-37, December.
  10. Maggi, Giovanni, 1996. "Strategic Trade Policies with Endogenous Mode of Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(1), pages 237-58, March.
  11. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1995. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy without Government Commitment," CEPR Discussion Papers 1199, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  12. Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
  13. Henriques, Irene, 1990. "Cooperative and Noncooperative R&D in Duopoly with Spillovers: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 638-40, June.
  14. David M. Kreps & Jose A. Scheinkman, 1983. "Quantity Precommitment and Bertrand Competition Yield Cournot Outcomes," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 14(2), pages 326-337, Autumn.
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