The new trade theory and its relevance for developing countries
Recent developments in trade theory - the result of applying modelsthat embody imperfect competition and increasing returns to scale - suggest an activist role for government in trade policy and threaten to undermine the case for trade liberalization. But the new modelling of international trade lacks theoretical robustness. It is particularly sensitive to assumptions about competitive behavior and the number of firms. Economists'criticism also focuses on the size of the excess profits that oligopolistic firms are alleged to earn, the partial equilibrium nature of the analysis, and the identification of the market failure and the choice of instrument. The normative prescriptions that arise from the new trade theory are also criticized in terms of political economy issues: the potential for foreign retaliation, inefficient government intervention, special interests'capture of policy, the problem of moral hazard, and possibly inimical redistributive effects. The limits of the new trade theory are particularly acute for developing countries because of their small economies, their limited ability to shift profits, the nature of their trade, and the greater chance for special interests to capture trade policy. Paradoxically, empirical work has shown that the gains from trade are much bigger under imperfectly competitive markets which actually strengthens the case for trade liberalization.
|Date of creation:||31 Mar 1994|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433|
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986.
"Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
- Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1983. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 1236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- James A. Brander & Barbara J. Spencer, 1984.
"Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry,"
NBER Working Papers
1464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- 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.
- Harris, Richard, 1984.
"Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-1032, December.
- Richard Harris, 1983. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," Working Papers 524, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
- Corden, W. Max, 1990. "Strategic trade policy : how new? how sensible?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 396, The World Bank.
- Pursell, G. & Snape, R. H., 1973. "Economies of scale, price discrimination and exporting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 85-91, February.
- Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1986. "Up the average cost curve: Inefficient entry and the new protectionism," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(3-4), pages 225-247, May.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1274. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.