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Tariffs and welfare in new trade theory models

  • Felbermayr, Gabriel
  • Jung, Benjamin
  • Larch, Mario

Arkolakis, Costinot and Rodriguez-Clare (ACR, 2012) prove that, conditional on the change in openness, the welfare gains from foreign trade reforms are quantitatively identical across single-sector trade models with radically different micro-foundations. We generalize this result to domestic and multilateral trade reforms. And we extend it to cover revenue generating import tariffs. This gives rise to a new type of welfare isomorphisms across models and liberalization scenarios and allows deriving a structurally identical optimal tariff formula. In contrast to the case of iceberg trade costs, welfare formulas based on tariff reforms are highly nonlinear and build on different types of trade elasticities and openness indices. Most importantly, the ACR iceberg formula necessarily underestimates the gains from trade. A stylized calibration of the model shows that the underestimation can be large.

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Paper provided by University of Tuebingen, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences in its series University of Tuebingen Working Papers in Economics and Finance with number 41.

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Date of creation: 2012
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:tuewef:41
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  1. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin, 2011. "Sorting It Out: Technical Barriers to Trade and Industry Productivity," Munich Reprints in Economics 20575, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  2. 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.
  3. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Prat, Julien, 2007. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection and Unemployment," IZA Discussion Papers 2754, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Felbermayr, Gabriel & Jung, Benjamin & Larch, Mario, 2013. "Optimal tariffs, retaliation, and the welfare loss from tariff wars in the Melitz model," Munich Reprints in Economics 20591, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  5. Andrew B. Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen J. Redding & Peter K. Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," NBER Working Papers 13054, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Russell H. Hillberry & Edward J. Balistreri & Thomas F. Rutherford, 2007. "Structural Estimation and Solution of International Trade Models with Heterogeneous Firms," DEGIT Conference Papers c012_038, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
  7. Demidova, Svetlana, 2005. "Productivity Improvements and Falling Trade Costs: Boon or Bane?," Working Papers 2-05-1, Pennsylvania State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Matthew T. Cole, 2010. "Not all trade restrictions are created equally," Working Papers 201009, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  9. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," NBER Working Papers 13933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Balistreri, Edward J. & Markusen, James R., 2009. "Sub-national differentiation and the role of the firm in optimal international pricing," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 47-62, January.
  11. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung, 2015. "Market Size and TFP in New New Trade Theory," CESifo Working Paper Series 5583, CESifo Group Munich.
  12. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2011. "Factor Prices and International Trade: A Unifying Perspective," NBER Working Papers 16904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2010. "Trade and welfare: Does industrial organization matter?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 109(2), pages 85-87, November.
  14. Benjamin Jung, 2012. "Optimal fixed cost subsidies in Melitz-type models," Empirica, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 87-108, February.
  15. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2013. "Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  16. Svetlana Demidova & Andrés Rodríguez-Clarez, 2011. "The Simple Analytics of the Melitz Model in a Small Open Economy," NBER Working Papers 17521, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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