Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry
Countries often perceive themselves as being in competition with each other for profitable international markets. In such a world export subsidies can appear as attractive policy tools, from a national point of view, because they improve the relative position of a domestic firm in noncooperative rivalries with foreign firms, enabling it to expand its market share and earn greater profits. In effect, subsidies change the initial conditions of the game that firms play. The terms of trade move against the subsidizing country, but its welfare can increase because, under imperfect competition, price exceeds the marginal cost of exports. International noncooperative equilibriumis characterized by such subsidies on the part of exporting nations, even though they are jointly suboptimal.
Brander, James A. and Barbara J. Spencer. "Export Subsidies and International Market Share Rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Vol. 18, No. 1-2, (Feb. 1985), pp. 83-100. citation courtesy of