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Trade Restrictiveness and Deadweight Losses from US Tariffs

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  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

This paper calculates a trade restrictiveness index, i.e., the uniform tariff that yields the same welfare loss as an existing tariff structure, for nearly a century of US data. The results show that the average tariff understates the TRI by about 75 percent. The static deadweight loss from US tariffs is about 1 percent of GDP after the Civil War, but falls almost continuously thereafter to less than one-tenth of 1 percent of GDP. Import duties produced an average welfare loss of 40 cents for every dollar of revenue, slightly higher than contemporary estimates of the marginal cost of taxation. (JEL F13, N71, N72)

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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/pol.2.3.111
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File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aej/pol/data/2009-0002_data.zip
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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 2 (2010)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 111-33

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejpol:v:2:y:2010:i:3:p:111-33

Note: DOI: 10.1257/pol.2.3.111
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  1. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L., 2010. "Novel Indicators of the Trade and Welfare Effects of Agricultural Distortions in OECD Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 7971, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Trevor Tombe, 2010. "The Missing Food Problem: How Low Agricultural Imports Contribute to International Income and Productivity Differences," Working Papers tecipa-416, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  3. Meissner, Christopher M., 2014. "Growth from Globalization? A View from the Very Long Run," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 8, pages 1033-1069 Elsevier.

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