American Economic Review: Vol. 102 No. 1 (February 2012)


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New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?

Article Citation

Arkolakis, Costas, Arnaud Costinot, and Andrés Rodríguez-Clare. 2012. "New Trade Models, Same Old Gains?" American Economic Review, 102(1): 94-130.

DOI: 10.1257/aer.102.1.94


Micro-level data have had a profound influence on research in international trade over the last ten years. In many regards, this research agenda has been very successful. New stylized facts have been uncovered and new trade models have been developed to explain these facts. In this paper we investigate to what extent answers to new micro-level questions have affected answers to an old and central question in the field: how large are the welfare gains from trade? A crude summary of our results is: "So far, not much." (JEL F11, F12)

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Arkolakis, Costas (Yale U)
Costinot, Arnaud (MIT)
Rodríguez-Clare, Andrés (U CA, Berkeley)

JEL Classifications

F11: Neoclassical Models of Trade
F12: Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies

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