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31 Jul 2015    Working Papers
Bekkers, Eddy , Francois, Joseph


Calibrating a CGE model with NTBs that Incorporates Standard Models of Modern Trade Theory

Deliverable No. 2.3, Working paper by Eddy Bekkers, WTI and wiiw (Vienna), and Joseph Francois, WTI

Abstract We propose a way to incorporate NTBs for the four workhorse models of the modern trade literature in computable general equilibrium models (CGEs). CGE models feature intermediate linkages and thus allow us to study global value chains (GVCs). We show that the Ethier-Krugman monopolistic competition model, the Melitz firm heterogeneity model and the Eaton and Kortum model can be defined as an Armington model with generalized marginal costs, generalized trade costs and a demand externality. As already known in the literature in both the Ethier-Krugman model and the Melitz model generalized marginal costs are a function of the amount of factor input bundles. In the Melitz model generalized marginal costs are also a function of the price of the factor input bundles. Lower factor prices raise the number of firms that can enter the market profitably (extensive margin), reducing generalized marginal costs of a representative firm. For the same reason the Melitz model features a demand externality: in a larger market more firms can enter. We implement the different models in a CGE setting with multiple sectors, intermediate linkages, non-homothetic preferences and detailed data on trade costs. We find the largest welfare effects from trade cost reductions in the Melitz model. We also employ the Melitz model to mimic changes in Non tariff Barriers (NTBs) with a fixed cost-character by analysing the effect of changes in fixed trade costs. While we work here with a model calibrated to the GTAP database, the methods developed can also be applied to CGE models based on the WIOD database.

Calibrating a CGE model with NTBs that Incorporates Standard Models of Modern Trade Theory