TITLE Tariffs on Input Trade Margins under Vertical Oligopoly: Theory and Evidence
AUTHORS Tomohiro Ara

Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Business Admin Fukushima University
Associate Professor, Research Center for Policy Design, Tohoku University

Arpita Chatterjee

Indian Institute of Management
Associate Professor, UNSW Business School

Arghya Ghosh

Professor, UNSW Business School

Hongyong Zhang

Fellow, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry

PUBLISHED IN RIETI Discussion Paper Series 17-E-025

What is the effect of tariffs on the input trade margins when vertically related markets are oligopolistic? To address the question, this paper develops a vertical oligopoly model in which one country specializes in producing a final good while another country specializes in producing an intermediate good by taking into account strategic interactions among firms. We find that, for constant-elasticity demand, a tariff reduction increases the number of trading firms (extensive margin) and average trade value per firm (intensive margin) in the vertically related sectors, raising the intensive margin relative to the extensive margin. To assess the empirical relevance of our theoretical results, we focus on China’s WTO accession which was a large policy change to Chinese firms. We find that a tariff reduction significantly increases both margins in the post-WTO period, though the effect on the extensive margin is much smaller than that on the intensive margin.

KEYWORDS Import tariffs, input trade, vertical oligopoly, extensive and intensive margins
POSTED March 2024

» List of Discussion Papers