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Trade, product variety and welfare: A quantitative assessment for the transition economies in Central and Eastern Europe

  • Michael Funke

    (Hamburg University Department of Economics)

  • Ralf Ruhwedel

    (Hamburg University Department of Economics)

We calculate welfare gains of trade liberalization in the Central and East European transition economies, following the approach of Romer (1994), who emphasized that proper modeling of the impact of trade restrictions on the number of available product varieties is crucial to quantifying the welfare impact of trade liberalization. The empirical work relies on direct measures of product variety calculated from 5- digit trade data. Although the issue is far from settled, the emerging conclusion is that freer trade has boosted welfare.

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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Macroeconomics with number 0401016.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 30 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpma:0401016
Note: Type of Document - ; pages: 24; figures: included
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  1. Robert C. Feenstra, 1998. "Integration of Trade and Disintegration of Production in the Global Economy," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 31-50, Fall.
  2. Tito Boeri & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 2002. "Varieties, Jobs and EU Enlargement," Rivista di Politica Economica, SIPI Spa, vol. 92(1), pages 139-178, January-F.
  3. Ralf Ruhwedel & Michael Funke, 2001. "Product Variety and Economic Growth Empirical Evidence for the OECD Countries," Quantitative Macroeconomics Working Papers 20104, Hamburg University, Department of Economics.
  4. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  5. Robert Feenstra, 2004. "Estimating The Effects Of Trade Policy," Working Papers 9510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  6. Romer, Paul, 1994. "New goods, old theory, and the welfare costs of trade restrictions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 5-38, February.
  7. Feenstra, Robert C, 1994. "New Product Varieties and the Measurement of International Prices," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(1), pages 157-77, March.
  8. Robert Feenstra & Madani & Dorsati & Yang & Tzu-Han, and Liang, Chi-Yuan, 2003. "Testing Endogenous Growth In South Korea And Taiwan," Working Papers 9716, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  9. Hoekman, Bernard & Djankov, Simeon, 1997. "Determinants of the Export Structure of Countries in Central and Eastern Europe," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 11(3), pages 471-87, September.
  10. Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
  11. 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 1016-32, December.
  12. Michael Funke & Ralf Ruhwedel, 2005. "Export variety and economic growth in East European transition economies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 13(1), pages 25-50, 01.
  13. Drábek, Zdenek & Smith, Alasdair, 1995. "Trade Performance and Trade Policy in Central and Eastern Europe," CEPR Discussion Papers 1182, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Dani Rodrik, 1992. "Foreign Trade in Eastern Europe's Transition: Early Results," NBER Working Papers 4064, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  16. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1998. "Trade liberalization and endogenous growth in a small open economy : a quantitative assessment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1970, The World Bank.
  17. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2002. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Trade," NBER Working Papers 8712, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Feenstra, Robert C. & Yang, Tzu-Han & Hamilton, Gary G., 1999. "Business groups and product variety in trade: evidence from South Korea, Taiwan and Japan," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 71-100, June.
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