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Trade barrier

About: Trade barrier is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 26847 publications have been published within this topic receiving 605284 citations.

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TL;DR: In this article, the authors present a simple formal analysis which incorporates these elements, and show how it can be used to shed some light on some issues which cannot be handled in more conventional models.
Abstract: For some time now there has been considerable skepticism about the ability of comparative cost theory to explain the actual pattern of international trade. Neither the extensive trade among the industrial countries, nor the prevalence in this trade of two-way exchanges of differentiated products, make much sense in terms of standard theory. As a result, many people have concluded that a new framework for analyzing trade is needed.' The main elements of such a framework-economies of scale, the possibility of product differentiation, and imperfect competition-have been discussed by such authors as Bela Balassa, Herbert Grubel (1967,1970), and Irving Kravis, and have been "in the air" for many years. In this paper I present a simple formal analysis which incorporates these elements, and show how it can be used to shed some light on some issues which cannot be handled in more conventional models. These include, in particular, the causes of trade between economies with similar factor endowments, and the role of a large domestic market in encouraging exports. The basic model of this paper is one in which there are economies of scale in production and firms can costlessly differentiate their products. In this model, which is derived from recent work by Avinash Dixit and Joseph Stiglitz, equilibrium takes the form of Chamberlinian monopolistic competition: each firm has some monopoly power, but entry drives monopoly profits to zero. When two imperfectly competitive economies of this kind are allowed to trade, increasing returns produce trade and gains from trade even if the economies have identical tastes, technology, and factor endowments. This basic model of trade is presented in Section I. It is closely related to a model I have developed elsewhere; in this paper a somewhat more restrictive formulation of demand is used to make the analysis in later sections easier. The rest of the paper is concerned with two extensions of the basic model. In Section II, I examine the effect of transportation costs, and show that countries with larger domestic markets will, other things equal, have higher wage rates. Section III then deals with "home market" effects on trade patterns. It provides a formal justification for the commonly made argument that countries will tend to export those goods for which they have relatively large domestic markets. This paper makes no pretense of generality. The models presented rely on extremely restrictive assumptions about cost and utility. Nonetheless, it is to be hoped that the paper provides some useful insights into those aspects of international trade which simply cannot be treated in our usual models.

4,876 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this article, Helpman et al. introduce a simple multicountry, multisector model, in which firms face a proximity-concentration trade-off between exports and FDI.
Abstract: Multinational sales have grown at high rates over the last two decades, outpacing the remarkable expansion of trade in manufactures. Consequently, the trade literature has sought to incorporate the mode of foreign market access into the “new” trade theory. This literature recognizes that Ž rms can serve foreign buyers through a variety of channels: they can export their products to foreign customers, serve them through foreign subsidiaries, or license foreign Ž rms to produce their products. Our work focuses on the Ž rm’s choice between exports and “horizontal” foreign direct investment (FDI). Horizontal FDI refers to an investment in a foreign production facility that is designed to serve customers in the foreign market. Firms invest abroad when the gains from avoiding trade costs outweigh the costs of maintaining capacity in multiple markets. This is known as the proximity-concentration tradeoff. We introduce heterogeneous Ž rms into a simple multicountry, multisector model, in which Ž rms face a proximity-concentration trade-off. Every Ž rm decides whether to serve a foreign market, and whether to do so through exports or local subsidiary sales. These modes of market access have different relative costs: exporting involves lower Ž xed costs while FDI involves lower variable costs. Our model highlights the important role of within-sector Ž rm productivity differences in explaining the structure of international trade and investment. First, only the most productive Ž rms engage in foreign activities. This result mirrors other Ž ndings on Ž rm heterogeneity and trade; in particular, the results reported in Melitz (2003). Second, of those Ž rms that serve foreign markets, only the most productive engage in FDI. Third, FDI sales relative to exports are larger in sectors with more Ž rm heterogeneity. Using U.S. exports and afŽ liate sales data that cover 52 manufacturing sectors and 38 countries, we show that cross-sectoral differences in Ž rm heterogeneity predict the composition of trade and investment in the manner suggested by our model. We construct several measures of Ž rm heterogeneity, using different data sources, and show that our results are robust across all these measures. In addition, we conŽ rm the predictions of the proximityconcentration trade-off. That is, Ž rms tend to substitute FDI sales for exports when transport * Helpman: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, Tel Aviv University, and CIAR (e-mail:; Melitz: Department of Economics, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, National Bureau of Economic Research, and Centre for Economic Policy Research (e-mail: mmelitz@; Yeaple: Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, 3718 Locust Walk, Philadelphia, PA 19104, and National Bureau of Economic Research (e-mail: The statistical analysis of Ž rmlevel data on U.S. Multinational Corporations reported in this study was conducted at the International Investment Division, U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, under an arrangement that maintained legal conŽ dentiality requirements. Views expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily re ect those of the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Elhanan Helpman thanks the NSF for Ž nancial support. We also thank Daron Acemoglu, Roberto Rigobon, Yona Rubinstein, and Dani Tsiddon for comments on an earlier draft, and Man-Keung Tang for excellent research assistance. 1 See Wilfred J. Ethier (1986), Ignatius Horstmann and James R. Markusen (1987), and Ethier and Markusen (1996) for models that incorporate the licensing alternative. We therefore exclude “vertical” motives for FDI that involve fragmentation of production across countries. See Helpman (1984, 1985), Markusen (2002, Ch. 9), and Gordon H. Hanson et al. (2002) for treatments of this form of FDI. 3 See, for example, Horstmann and Markusen (1992), S. Lael Brainard (1993), and Markusen and Anthony J. Venables (2000). 4 See also Andrew B. Bernard et al. (2003) for an alternative theoretical model and Yeaple (2003a) for a model based on worker-skill heterogeneity. James R. Tybout (2003) surveys the recent micro-level evidence on trade that has motivated these theoretical models. 5 This result is loosely connected to the documented empirical pattern that foreign-owned afŽ liates are more productive than domestically owned producers. See Mark E. Doms and J. Bradford Jensen (1998) for the United States and Sourafel Girma et al. (2002) for the United Kingdom.

3,823 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: This article developed a Ricardian trade model that incorporates realistic geographic features into general equilibrium and delivered simple structural equations for bilateral trade with parameters relating to absolute advantage, comparative advantage, and geographic barriers.
Abstract: We develop a Ricardian trade model that incorporates realistic geographic features into general equilibrium It delivers simple structural equations for bilateral trade with parameters relating to absolute advantage, to comparative advantage (promoting trade), and to geographic barriers (resisting it) We estimate the parameters with data on bilateral trade in manufactures, prices, and geography from 19 OECD countries in 1990 We use the model to explore various issues such as the gains from trade, the role of trade in spreading the benefits of new technology, and the effects of tariff reduction

3,782 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Paul Krugman1
TL;DR: The authors developed a simple, general equilibrium model of non-comparative advantage trade and showed that trade and gains from trade will occur, even between countries with identical tastes, technology, and factor endowments.
Abstract: This paper develops a simple, general equilibrium model of noncomparative advantage trade. Trade is driven by economies of scale, which are internal to firms. Because of the scale economies, markets are imperfectly competitive. Nonetheless, one can show that trade, and gains from trade, will occur, even between countries with identical tastes, technology, and factor endowments.

3,756 citations

01 Jan 1985

3,279 citations

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