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Imperfect Competition and the Theory of Managed Trade

Mohammad Amin ()

International Trade from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: We analyze the role of imperfect competition in explaining the relationship between temporary surges in trade-volumes and the level of cooperation in trade policy that can be sustained between countries in a repeated game framework. Imperfectly competitive markets are characterized by a mark-up which is the wedge between equilibrium price and the marginal cost of production. Absent domestic policy tools, gains from protectionist policies are shown to depend positively on the size of the mark-up in the domestic import-competing sector, which is in addition to the conventional terms-of-trade related benefits. A temporary surge in trade-volume due to a supply-side shock lowers the industry mark-up making protectionist policies less desirable. This counters the increase in the terms-of-trade related benefits due to higher trade-volume. The net effect of these two competing forces determines whether periods of abnormally high trade-volumes feature more or less cooperation along the equilibrium path of the repeated game. We identify simple conditions distinguishing between these two outcomes thereby establishing the pattern of "managed trade" under imperfect competition. A sharp distinction is drawn between demand side and supply side shocks. We suggest a simple generalization of the results to other forms of distortions.

Keywords: Managed Trade; Imperfect Competition; Repeated Game; Trade Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 31 pages
Date: 2004-02-05
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Win98; pages: 31
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