Journal Article

Learning by Doing, Precommitment and Infant-Industry Promotion

Dermot Leahy and J. Peter Neary

in The Review of Economic Studies

Published on behalf of Review of Economic Studies Ltd

Volume 66, issue 2, pages 447-474
Published in print April 1999 | ISSN: 0034-6527
Published online April 1999 | e-ISSN: 1467-937X | DOI:
Learning by Doing, Precommitment and Infant-Industry Promotion

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We examine the implications for strategic trade policy of different assumptions about precommitment in a two-period Cournot oligopoly game with learning by doing. The inability of firms and governments to precommit to future actions encourages strategic behaviour which justifies an optimal first-period export tax relative to the profit-shifting benchmark of an export subsidy. In the linear case the optimal subsidy is increasing in the rate of learning with government precommitment but decreasing in it without, in apparent contradiction to the infant-industry argument. Extensions to active foreign policy, distortionary taxation and Bertrand competition are also considered.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Economics

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