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Non-homothetic preferences, parallel imports and the extensive margin of international trade

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  • Föllmi, Reto
  • Hepenstrick, Christian
  • Zweimüller, Josef

Abstract

We study international trade in a model where consumers have non-homothetic preferences and where household income restricts the extensive margin of consumption. In equilibrium, monopolistic producers set high (low) prices in rich (poor) countries but a threat of parallel trade restricts the scope of price discrimination between countries. The threat of parallel trade allows differences in per capita incomes to have a strong impact on the extensive margin of trade, whereas differences in population sizes have a weaker effect. We also show that the welfare gains from trade liberalization are biased towards rich countries. We extend our model to more than two countries; to unequal incomes within countries; and to more general specifications of non-homothetic preferences. Our basic results are robust to these extensions.

Suggested Citation

  • Föllmi, Reto & Hepenstrick, Christian & Zweimüller, Josef, 2011. "Non-homothetic preferences, parallel imports and the extensive margin of international trade," Economics Working Paper Series 1122, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.
  • Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2011:22
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Pablo Fajgelbaum & Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 2011. "Income Distribution, Product Quality, and International Trade," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 119(4), pages 721-765.
    2. A. Auer, Raphael & Chaney, Thomas & Sauré, Philip, 2018. "Quality pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 87-102.
    3. Hélène Latzer & Florian Mayneris, 2011. "Trade in quality and income distribution: an analysis of the enlarged EU market," Working Papers of BETA 2011-21, Bureau d'Economie Théorique et Appliquée, UDS, Strasbourg.
    4. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
    5. Soojae Moon, 2015. "The Losses from Trade Restrictions: Policy Dynamics with Firm Selection and Endogenous Markup," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(1), pages 86-110, February.
    6. Christian Hepenstrick & Alexander Tarasov, 2015. "Per capita income and the extensive margin of bilateral trade," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 48(4), pages 1561-1599, November.
    7. Hélène LATZER & Alexandre SIMONS, 2014. "Income distribution, multi-quality firms and patterns of trade," LIDAM Discussion Papers IRES 2014003, Université catholique de Louvain, Institut de Recherches Economiques et Sociales (IRES).
    8. Claudia Bernasconi, 2013. "Similarity of income distributions and the extensive and intensive margin of bilateral trade flows," ECON - Working Papers 115, Department of Economics - University of Zurich.
    9. Masood, Maria, 2019. "New evidence on income and the geographical distribution of imports: The case of audiovisuals," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(3), pages 717-734.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogenous markups; non-homothetic preferences; parallel imports; extensive margin of trade.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F19 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Other

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