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Not All Trade Restrictions are Created Equally

  • Matthew T Cole

    (University College Dublin)

There has been great focus in the recent trade theory literature on the introduction of firm heterogeneity into trade models. This introduction has highlighted the importance of the entry/exit decision of firms in response to changes in trade barriers. However, it is typical in many of these models to use iceberg transport costs as a general form of trade barriers that can be interchangeable with ad valorem tariffs. I show that this is not always an appropriate conclusion. Specifically, I illustrate that profit for an exporter is more elastic in response to tariffs than iceberg transport costs, which has implications for total product variety. One such implication is the possibility for there to be an anti-variety effect associated with lower transport costs while there also being a pro-variety effect associated with lower tariffs.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/t4cms/wp10_09.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 201009.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: 12 Apr 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:201009
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  1. Davies, Ronald B. & Eckel, Carsten, 2010. "Tax Competition for Heterogeneous Firms with Endogenous Entry," Munich Reprints in Economics 20021, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Irarrazabal, Alfonso & Moxnes, Andreas & Opromolla, Luca David, 2010. "The Tip of the Iceberg: Modeling Trade Costs and Implications for Intra-Industry Reallocation," CEPR Discussion Papers 7685, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Johannes Becker, 2009. "Taxation of Foreign Profits with Heterogeneous Multinational Firms," CESifo Working Paper Series 2899, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Christian Broda & David E. Weinstein, 2006. "Globalization and the Gains from Variety," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 121(2), pages 541-585, May.
  6. Francis Kramarz & Jonathan Eaton & Samuel Kortum, 2005. "An Anatomy of International Trade: Evidence from French Firms," 2005 Meeting Papers 197, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  7. Martina Lawless & Karl Whelan, 2008. "Where Do Firms Export, How Much, and Why?," Working Papers 200821, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  8. Demidova, Svetlana & Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés, 2009. "Trade policy under firm-level heterogeneity in a small economy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(1), pages 100-112, June.
  9. Costas Arkolakis, 2010. "Market Penetration Costs and the New Consumers Margin in International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 118(6), pages 1151 - 1199.
  10. Jan G. Jorgensen & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2005. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 496, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  11. Schmitt, Nicolas & Yu, Zhihao, 2001. "Economies of scale and the volume of intra-industry trade," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 127-132, December.
  12. Sébastien Jean, 2000. "International Trade and Firms’ Heterogeneity Under Monopolistic Competition," Working Papers 2000-13, CEPII research center.
  13. Davin Chor, 2006. "Subsidies for FDI: Implications from a Model with Heterogenous Firms," 2006 Meeting Papers 475, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  14. Zhihao Yu, 2002. "Entrepreneurship and intra-industry trade," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 138(2), pages 277-290, June.
  15. Krugman, Paul R., 1979. "Increasing returns, monopolistic competition, and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 469-479, November.
  16. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-21, September.
  17. Baldwin, Richard & Forslid, Rikard, 2004. "Trade Liberalization with Heterogenous Firms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4635, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  18. Krugman, Paul, 1980. "Scale Economies, Product Differentiation, and the Pattern of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 70(5), pages 950-59, December.
  19. Jonathan EATON, Samuel KORTUM, Francis KRAMARZ, 2008. "An Anatomy of International Trade : Evidence from French Firms” ~We examine the sales of French manufacturing ?rms in 113 destinations, including Franceitself. Several regularities stand out: (1) the ," Working Papers 2008-29, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  20. Matthew T Cole, 2010. "Distorted Trade Barriers: A Comment on “Distorted Gravity”," Working Papers 201019, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  21. Schröder, Philipp J.H. & Jørgensen, Jan G., 2007. "Fixed Export Cost heterogeneity, Trade and Welfare," MPRA Paper 7397, University Library of Munich, Germany.
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