Trade Policy And Time Consistency In An Oligopsonistic World Market

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1998-11-01
Authors
Gervais, Jean-Philippe
LAPAN, HARVEY
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Lapan, Harvey
University Professor Emeritus
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Economics

The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 to teach economic theory as a truth of industrial life, and was very much concerned with applying economics to business and industry, particularly agriculture. Between 1910 and 1967 it showed the growing influence of other social studies, such as sociology, history, and political science. Today it encompasses the majors of Agricultural Business (preparing for agricultural finance and management), Business Economics, and Economics (for advanced studies in business or economics or for careers in financing, management, insurance, etc).

History
The Department of Economic Science was founded in 1898 under the Division of Industrial Science (later College of Liberal Arts and Sciences); it became co-directed by the Division of Agriculture in 1919. In 1910 it became the Department of Economics and Political Science. In 1913 it became the Department of Applied Economics and Social Science; in 1924 it became the Department of Economics, History, and Sociology; in 1931 it became the Department of Economics and Sociology. In 1967 it became the Department of Economics, and in 2007 it became co-directed by the Colleges of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Business.

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1898–present

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  • Department of Economic Science (1898–1910)
  • Department of Economics and Political Science (1910-1913)
  • Department of Applied Economics and Social Science (1913–1924)
  • Department of Economics, History and Sociology (1924–1931)
  • Department of Economics and Sociology (1931–1967)

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This paper investigates the strategic behavior between countries that have purchasing power on the world market for a certain good. Tariffs and quotas are not equivalent protection instruments in this oligopsonistic market. Policy active importers would be better off by colluding and setting their trade instrument cooperatively. In a non-cooperative setting, if production decisions occur before consumption decisions, the ex-ante optimal policy is not time consistent because the ex-post elasticity of the residual foreign export supply curve is lower than the ex-ante elasticity. However, we show that the importers' inability to irrevocably commit to their trade instrument may be welfare superior to the precommitment solution. The negative welfare implication of noncooperative behavior may be balanced off by the welfare effect of the ex-post elasticity. A numerical example is proposed to provide insights on the theoretical results.

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