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This paper develops the implications of strategic trade theory for policies targeted at the quality of exports. The model involves a three-stage game in which an LDC and a developed country attempt to reposition their firms in product quality space through taxes and subsidies on investment. The two firms (one in each country) first make an investment determining the quality of their product and then compete on the basis of either Bertrand or Cournot competition in a third country export market. An important innovation is our consideration of asymmetric costs of investment in quality with the LDC firm potentially facing substantially higher costs. If this cost difference is sufficiently large, we show that there exists a unique pure strategy equilibrium in which the LDC firm (firm L) produces the low-quality product and the developed country firm (firm H) produces the high-quality product. The paper also makes a technical contribution by providing analytical proofs of concavity for the profit and welfare functions under specified conditions. If you need money you may take speedy cash payday loans to expand your abilities and opportunities to go anywhere or to whatever you like.
There are two basic considerations in determining the profitability of a particular location on the quality ladder. First, for a given difference between own quality and the quality of the rival firm, there is the profitability of the location based on revenue and the investment costs required to reach that quality. Higher quality products tend to command higher revenues, but this tends to be offset by the fact that the cost of investment in quality is increasing at an increasing rate. The second consideration is the extent of the gap between own quality and the quality of the rival firm, but the role played by this gap differs depending on the nature of product market competition. Under Bertrand competition, an increase in the quality gap or extent of differentiation of the products relaxes price competition, raising the profits of both firms, whereas under Cournot competition, the effect on profits depends on whether the firm is above or below its rival on the quality ladder. Under Cournot competition, firm H’s profit is increased by a reduction in the quality of firm L as before, but firm H responds to an increase in its own quality by sufficiently increasing output so as to cause firm L’s profits to fall. This difference in responses is at the heart of the explanation for the opposing policy prescriptions arising under the two market structures.
For latter reference it is useful to define Ma as the highest number of a firms compatible with the steady state requirements. The number Ma is such that 7ra = 0 in an economy with no b firms:
Consider first the case in which we start the economy with Ma> 0 and Mb = 0. Lemma 2.2 implies that there will be no entry of b firms; the labor force will be divided equally among firms in sector a and profits will be given by:
Here we used primes to denote the value of a given variable in the next period.
In these expressions wat represents the real wage rate measured in units of good a, and pt is the domestic relative price of good b in units of good a. To simplify we assume that the international relative price of good b (p*) is constant- The domestic relative price is given by:
where rt is a tariff rate imposed by the government and whose revenue is rebated to the households in a lump sum fashion.1 We assume for now that rt is constant over time.
The real wage in this economy is a weighted average of the two product wages, wa and Wb, which is the real wage measured in units of good b:
If momentary utility from consumption of goods a and b (Ca, and Cb) had the Cobb-Douglas form и = l(C2Cl~y)1~cr — 1]/(1 — a), the real wage (deflated by the consumer price index) would be a geometric average of the two product wages: u^”7. Since we want to be agnostic about the weights used in the construction of the consumer price index, we analyze separately the evolution of both wa and wb.
In both sectors production is organized in firms as in Hopenhayn (1992). To set up a firm it is necessary to make a one-time investment of ф units of good a. If this cost is paid at time t the firm will be able to operate at time t -f 1. Plants produce according to the following technology:
where Ylt denotes the output of sector i and Nit the number of units of labor that this sector employs. To simplify we assume that the production functions in the two sectors differ only with respect to the level parameter 2*. The elasticity of production with respect to labor (a) is assumed to be identical in both sectors.
We discuss at length the effects of different reforms on the distribution of income across factors of production and across the sectors of the economy. Both theoretical work (Fernandez and Rodrick (1991), Hillman (1989)) and empirical studies (Little et al. (1970), Krueger (1978), and Papageorgiou et al. (1990)) have pointed clearly to the impact on the distribution of income as a key consideration in the design and implementation of reforms.
Section 2 lays out the basic model that forms the backdrop for our investigation. Section 3 studies the effects of different deterministic reforms in an economy with free access to international capital markets. Section 4 studies the implications of similar reforms in an economy without access to international capital markets. A final section summarizes the main results. easyloans-now.com
Introducing adjustment costs into an otherwise frictionless model of capital allocation preserves the prediction that trade reforms have an impact on capital allocation, however these effects take place gradually over time. In contrast, the industry dynamics model with irreversible investment that lies at the core of our analysis implies naturally that there is substantial inertia in the response of an economy to trade reforms. Firms that have previously been protected may not exit, even when trade reforms are permanent. And certain reforms-both temporary and permanent~~may fail to elicit changes in industrial configuration. Ours is an economy in which the industrial structure is difficult to change and. in which the changes that do occur tend to be persistent.
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Over the last two decades numerous countries have implemented reform packages that sought to improve the efficiency of their economies. Trade reform, liberaliza-tion of capital flows, changes in tax legislation, improvements in the protection of property rights, and de-regulation of the financial intermediation sector, have been widely used to try to improve economic performance.
Every time these reforms are implemented agents debate the extent to which they are likely to be temporary or permanent. Why is this important? Calvo and Mendoza (1994) stress two reasons. The duration of the reform is relevant: (i) in determining the size of the wealth effect experienced by the private sector; and (ii) in setting in motion intertemporal substitution effects in reforms perceived as temporary. Both of these mechanisms affect consumption and labor supply decisions as well as the economy’s trade balance.
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We apply a Box-Cox transformation as a generalization to our fixed-effects model (where is a site-specific fixed effect). The model can be specified as
With the results from the Box-Cox regression we can also peform two likelihood-ratio tests, 2[L(X) — Z(0)] ~ x2(l) and 2[L(X) — L(l)] ~ X2(l), that allow us to test the Box-Cox transformation against the log-linear (our baseline) model and the simple linear model.
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We find that the signs of our estimates remain stable and significant. The optimal Box-Cox transformation parameter is approximately 0.2. When we test this specification against either the log-linear or pure-linear case, the log-likelihood test statistics reject both the log-linear and pure-linear specifications in favour of the Box-Cox transformation. Observe, though, that the pure-linear model is rejected by a much larger margin than the log-linear model. Also note that the interpretation of the parameters changes and cannot be compared across the three models.