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

Author

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  • Reto Foellmi
  • Christian Hepenstrick
  • Josef Zweimüller

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

  • Reto Foellmi & Christian Hepenstrick & Josef Zweimüller, 2010. "Non-homothetic preferences, parallel imports and the extensive margin of international trade," IEW - Working Papers 497, Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich.
  • Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:497
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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. 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.
    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. A. Auer, Raphael & Chaney, Thomas & Sauré, Philip, 2018. "Quality pricing-to-market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 110(C), pages 87-102.
    5. Maria MASOOD, 2014. "New Evidence on Development and Cultural Trade: Diversification, Reconcentration and Domination," Working Papers P85, FERDI.
    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. 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.
    8. 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.
    9. 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).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Heterogenous markups; non-homothetic preferences; parallel imports; extensivenmargin of trade;

    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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