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Tariffs and the Current Account: The Role of Initial Distortions

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  • Jonathan D. Ostry

Abstract

From an initial position of laissez-faire, temporary tariffs have been shown to improve the current account. However, if tariffs are initially positive (as in many actual economies), temporary tariffs will magnify an existing distortion and therefore lower real income during protectionist periods. Optimizing agents may wish to smooth the path of consumption relative to income by foreign borrowing. If the intertemporal elasticity of substitution is sufficiently low, temporary tariffs may actually worsen the current account.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Canadian Economics Association in its journal Canadian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 23 (1990)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 348-56

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Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:23:y:1990:i:2:p:348-56

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Cited by:
  1. Ikeda & S., 2000. "Tariffs, Time Preference, and the Current Account under Weakly Nonseparable Preferences," ISER Discussion Paper 0519, Institute of Social and Economic Research, Osaka University.
  2. Mansoorian, Arman & Mohsin, Mohammed, 2010. "On the employment, investment, and current account effects of trade liberalizations with durability in consumption," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 21(3), pages 228-240, December.
  3. Lone Engbo Christiansen & Alessandro Prati & Luca Antonio Ricci & Thierry Tressel, 2009. "External Balance in Low Income Countries," IMF Working Papers 09/221, International Monetary Fund.
  4. Arman Mansoorian & Simon Neaime, 1996. "Habits and Durability in Consumption, and the Effects of Tariff Protection," Working Papers 1996_02, York University, Department of Economics.
  5. Arman Mansoorian & Simon Neaime, 2000. "Habits and Durability in Consumption, and the Effects of Tariff Protection," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 195-204, July.

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