Competition Policy and International Trade
NBER Working Paper No. 4972
This paper presents a non-technical discussion of economic issues that arise due to links between competition (or anti-trust) policy and international trade. While recent advances in international trade theory have borrowed heavily from the industrial organization literature, this work has a schizophrenic quality to it. One of the insights that motivated the new trade theory was the observation that many markets were not perfectly competitive. For the case of purely domestic markets, the industrial organization literature provided a foundation for policy advice and most countries have well established public policy regarding competition between firms. While trade theorists have borrowed heavily from the theory of industrial organization, they seem to have ignored the existence of competition policy when investigating trade policy. The two interact in important ways, and pretending that trade policy in imperfectly competitive markets takes place in the absence of any competition policy may lead to inadvertent policy outcomes.
Published: Fair Trade and Harmonization, Bhagwali,J. and R. Hidec, eds., Cambridge: MIT Press, 1996.