Elusive Pro-competitive Effects and Harm from Gradual Trade Liberalization
We develop a two-factor, two-sector trade model of monopolistic competition with variable elasticity of sub- stitution. Firms' prots and sizes may increase or decrease with market integration depending on the degree of asymmetry between countries. The country in which capital is relatively abundant is a net exporter of the manu- factured good, although both rm sizes and prots are lower in this country than in the country where capital is relatively scarce. The pricing policy adopted by rms depends neither on capital endowment nor country asymme- try. It is determined by the nature of preferences: when demand elasticity increases (decreases) with consumption, rms practice dumping (reverse-dumping).
We study the impact of transfer pricing rules on sales prices, ﬁrms’ organizational structure, and consumers’ utility within a two-country monopolistic competition model featuring source-based proﬁt taxes that differ across countries. Firms can either become multinationals, i.e., they serve the foreign market through a fully controlled affiliate; or they can become exporters, i.e., they serve the foreign market by contracting with an independent distributor. Compared to the benchmark cases, where tax authorities are either unable to audit ﬁrms or where they are able to audit them perfectly, the use of the OECD’s Comparable Uncontrolled Price (CUP) or Cost-Plus (CP) rule distorts ﬁrms’ output and pricing decisions. The reason is that the comparable arm’s length transactions between exporters and distributors, which serve as benchmarks, are not efficient. We show that implementing the CUP or CP rules is detrimental to consumers in the low tax country, yet beneﬁts consumers in the high tax country.
Examining a standard monopolistic competition model with unspecified utility/cost functions, we find necessary and sufficient conditions on their elasticities for welfare losses from emerging trade or market expansion. Two numerical examples explain the losses: excessive or insufficient entry of firms can be aggravated by market enlargement (under unrealistic elasticities).
The paper examines the structure, governance, and balance sheets of state-controlled banks in Russia, which accounted for over 55 percent of the total assets in the country's banking system in early 2012. The author offers a credible estimate of the size of the country's state banking sector by including banks that are indirectly owned by public organizations. Contrary to some predictions based on the theoretical literature on economic transition, he explains the relatively high profitability and efficiency of Russian state-controlled banks by pointing to their competitive position in such functions as acquisition and disposal of assets on behalf of the government. Also suggested in the paper is a different way of looking at market concentration in Russia (by consolidating the market shares of core state-controlled banks), which produces a picture of a more concentrated market than officially reported. Lastly, one of the author's interesting conclusions is that China provides a better benchmark than the formerly centrally planned economies of Central and Eastern Europe by which to assess the viability of state ownership of banks in Russia and to evaluate the country's banking sector.
The paper examines the principles for the supervision of financial conglomerates proposed by BCBS in the consultative document published in December 2011. Moreover, the article proposes a number of suggestions worked out by the authors within the HSE research team.