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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. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
  2. Matthew Cole, 2011. "Not all trade restrictions are created equally," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(3), pages 411-427, September.
  3. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung, 2011. "Home Market Effects and the Single-Sector Melitz Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 3695, CESifo Group Munich.
  4. Felbermayr, Gabriel J. & Jung, Benjamin, 2008. "Sorting it out: Technical barriers to trade and industry productivity," Tübinger Diskussionsbeiträge 315, University of Tübingen, School of Business and Economics.
  5. Gabriel J. Felbermayr & Benjamin Jung & Mario Larch, 2011. "Optimal Tariffs, Retaliation and the Welfare Loss from Tariff Wars in the Melitz Model," CESifo Working Paper Series 3474, CESifo Group Munich.
  6. 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.
  7. Balistreri, Edward J. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2013. "Computing General Equilibrium Theories of Monopolistic Competition and Heterogeneous Firms," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  8. Julien Prat & Gabriel Felbermayr, 2007. "Product Market Regulation, Firm Selection and Unemployment," 2007 Meeting Papers 667, Society for Economic Dynamics.
  9. Costas Arkolakis & Svetlana Demidova & Peter J. Klenow & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 2008. "Endogenous Variety and the Gains from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(2), pages 444-50, May.
  10. 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.
  11. Svetlana Demidova, 2008. "Productivity Improvements And Falling Trade Costs: Boon Or Bane?," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1437-1462, November.
  12. Andrew Bernard & J. Bradford Jensen & Stephen Redding & Peter Schott, 2007. "Firms in International Trade," Working Papers 07-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  13. Edward J. Balistreri & James R. Markusen, 2007. "Sub-national Differentiation and the Role of the Firm in Optimal International Pricing," NBER Working Papers 13130, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Ariel Burstein & Jonathan Vogel, 2011. "Factor Prices and International Trade: A Unifying Perspective," NBER Working Papers 16904, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. Benjamin Jung, 2012. "Optimal fixed cost subsidies in Melitz-type models," Empirica, Springer, vol. 39(1), pages 87-108, February.
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