Economies of Scale and Market Structure in International Grain Trade
University of Macerata (Italy) - Department of Studies on Economic Development (DSSE)
Agricultural Economics, Vol. 37, No. 2-3, November 2007
A large body of literature has examined international grain trade in imperfectly competitive models. The article develops a two-stage duopoly model that considers a private trader and a State Trading Enterprise (STE) competing on a foreign market. The key difference between the private trader and the STE is their international organization; while the STE makes use of external agents to export, the private firm may choose to internalize international transactions. The game is solved for different modes of competition and under both assumptions of homogeneous and differentiated products, in order to assess how these assumptions affect the outcome of the game. The results of the game are examined by using numerical examples. The analysis shows that external shocks on export markets may result in a change of market structure and, consequently, of market shares. These effects depend on the initial market structure. Furthermore, the degree of product differentiation and the assumed mode of competition significantly affect the relative values of transaction and fixed costs at which the market structure changes.
Keywords: Multinational firm, State Trading Enterprises, International grain trade
JEL Classification: F13, F23, Q17, Q18Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: February 10, 2008
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