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Frontiers of Economics in China

Front. Econ. China    2018, Vol. 13 Issue (1) : 5-14
Orginal Article |
Local Import Competition in a Lumpy Country
Alan V. Deardorff()
Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA
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This paper examines the effects of a fall in the price of an imported good in a region of a country that is specialized in producing that good. The context is a “lumpy country” model in which factors are unable to move between locations, although in this case I assume that only labor is immobile, and that the other factor, capital, is perfectly mobile between regions. With mobile capital, the lumpy-country equilibrium can be anywhere in the factor-price equalization set, but my focus is on a region that initially produces only one good, on the border of that set. When the price of that good falls due to import competition, it would be possible for both factors to reallocate partially into production of the other good, but I assume instead that some capital simply leaves the region, so that it continues to produce only the same good that it did before. The result of this is a fall in the real wage of labor, just as under Stolper-Samuelson assumptions. I then look at production also of a non-traded good, and find that the same import competition that cheapened the traded good also cheapens the nontraded good. The result is that the region shrinks, losing capital and producing less of both goods unless the substitution in favor of the nontraded good expands its consumption out of a smaller income.

Keywords import competition      lumpy country      nontraded good     
Issue Date: 15 March 2018
 Cite this article:   
Alan V. Deardorff. Local Import Competition in a Lumpy Country[J]. Front. Econ. China, 2018, 13(1): 5-14.
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