Stolper-Samuelson revisited : trade and distribution with oligopolistic profits
This paper investigates the distributional impact of international trade when goods markets are oligopolistic and firms partially pass-through changes in tariffs into prices and factor costs for differentiated products. Trade liberalization raises mark-ups and profit shares in the export industry and lowers them in the import-competing industry, while Stolper-Samuelson effects on real prices of primary factors are attenuated or possibly reversed. An extended model shows how “offshoring” (trade in intermediate goods) can potentially increase mark-ups for oligopolistic producers of final goods. The analysis illuminates why business interests generally support trade liberalization policies today, regardless of their countries’ factor abundance.