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Optimal Tariffs, Tariff Jumping, and Heterogeneous Firms

  • Matthew T Cole

    (University College Dublin)

  • Ronald B Davies

    (University College Dublin)

The majority of research to date investigating strategic tariffs in the presence of multinationals finds a knife-edge result where, in equilibrium, all foreign firms are either multinationals or exporters. Utilizing a model of heterogeneous firms, we find equilibria in which both pure exporters and multinationals coexist. We utilize this model to study the case of endogenously chosen tariffs. As is standard, Nash equilibrium tariffs are higher than the socially optimal tariffs. Unlike existing models with homogeneous firms, we find that non-cooperative tariffs promote the existence of low-productivity firms relative to the socially optimal tariffs. This highlights a new source of inefficiency from tariff competition not found in models of homogeneous firms. In addition, we find that in many cases the Nash equilibrium tariff when FDI is a potential firm structure is lower than when it is not. As a result, FDI improves welfare by mitigating tariff competition.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/wp09.19.pdf
File Function: First version, 2009
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200919.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200919
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2007. "Trade Policy under Firm-Level Heterogeneity in a Small Economy," NBER Working Papers 13688, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Blonigen, Bruce A. & Ohno, Yuka, 1998. "Endogenous protection, foreign direct investment and protection-building trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(2), pages 205-227, December.
  3. Jørgensen Jan Guldager & Schröder Philipp J. H., 2006. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, July.
  4. Matthew T Cole, 2009. "The Choice of Modeling Firm Heterogeneity and Trade Restrictions," Working Papers 200920, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  5. Bruce A. Blonigen & Ronald B. Davies & Keith Head, 2003. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(3), pages 980-994, June.
  6. Emily Blanchard, 2006. "Reevaluating the Role of Trade Agreements: Does Investment Globalization Make the WTO Obsolete?," CESifo Working Paper Series 1735, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. Flam, Harry & Helpman, Elhanan, 1987. "Industrial policy under monopolistic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1-2), pages 79-102, February.
  8. Ronald B. Davies & Carsten Eckel, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(1), pages 77-102, February.
  9. Davin Chor, 2007. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a Model with Heterogeneous Firms," Working Papers 04-2007, Singapore Management University, School of Economics.
  10. Schröder, Philipp J.H. & Jørgensen, Jan G., 2007. "Fixed Export Cost heterogeneity, Trade and Welfare," MPRA Paper 7397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  11. Smarzynska, Beata K., 2002. "Does foreign direct investment increase the productivity of domestic firms : in search of spillovers through backward linkages," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2923, The World Bank.
  12. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
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  14. 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.
  15. Blanchard Emily J, 2007. "Foreign Direct Investment, Endogenous Tariffs, and Preferential Trade Agreements," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-52, November.
  16. Ellingsen, Tore & Warneryd, Karl, 1999. "Foreign Direct Investment and the Political Economy of Protection," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 40(2), pages 357-79, May.
  17. Sébastien Jean, 2002. "International Trade and Firms' Heterogeneity under Monopolistic Competition," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 13(3), pages 291-311, July.
  18. Blonigen, Bruce A & Figlio, David N, 1998. "Voting for Protection: Does Direct Foreign Investment Influence Legislator Behavior?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(4), pages 1002-14, September.
  19. Haaland, Jan I. & Wooton, Ian, 1996. "Anti-dumping jumping: Reciprocal anti-dumping and industrial location," Discussion Papers, Series II 310, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  20. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  21. David Weinstein & Christian Broda, 2004. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," 2004 Meeting Papers 530, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  22. James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 1999. "Discriminating Among Alternative Theories of the Multinational Enterprise," NBER Working Papers 7164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Mario Larch, 2008. "Endogenous Tariffs in the Presence of Multinationals," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 164(3), pages 534-567, September.
  24. Ludema, Rodney D., 2002. "Increasing returns, multinationals and geography of preferential trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 329-358, March.
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