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The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions

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  • Ian Parry

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Abstract

This paper uses a numerical general equilibrium model to examine the quantitative importance of pre-existing factor tax distortions for the welfare effects of tariffs and import quotas. The presence of pre-existing taxes can greatly raise the costs of these policies, possibly by over several hundred percent. For a tariff much of this extra cost can be offset if tariff revenues are used to reduce distortionary taxes. Hence there can be a large cost discrepancy between tariffs and quotas. The optimal tariff for a country with market power in trade can be reduced to zero, unless revenues finance cuts in distortionary taxes. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Springer in its journal International Tax and Public Finance.

Volume (Year): 8 (2001)
Issue (Month): 2 (March)
Pages: 147-170

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Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:2:p:147-170

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Web page: http://www.springerlink.com/link.asp?id=102915

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Keywords: pre-existing tax distortions; tariffs; import quotas; welfare costs;

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References

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  1. Ian W.H. Parry & Wallace E. Oates, 2000. "Policy analysis in the presence of distorting taxes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 603-613.
  2. Parry, Ian & Oates, Wallace, 1998. "Policy Analysis in a Second-Best World," Discussion Papers dp-98-48, Resources For the Future.
  3. Boadway, R. & Maital, S. & Prachowny, M., 1973. "Optimal tariffs, optimal taxes and public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 2(4), pages 391-403.
  4. Arnold C. Harberger, 1962. "The Incidence of the Corporation Income Tax," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 70, pages 215.
  5. Baldwin, Robert E, 1992. "Are Economists' Traditional Trade Policy Views Still Valid?," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 804-29, June.
  6. Ian W. H. Parry & Roberton C. Williams III & Lawrence H. Goulder, 1997. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," NBER Working Papers 5967, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Dallas Burtraw, 1996. "Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 5641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Browning, Edgar K., 1994. "The non-tax wedge," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 419-433, March.
  9. Lucas, Robert E, Jr, 1990. "Supply-Side Economics: An Analytical Review," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(2), pages 293-316, April.
  10. Parry, Ian, 1998. "The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions," Discussion Papers dp-98-37, Resources For the Future.
  11. Lawrence Goulder, 1995. "Environmental taxation and the double dividend: A reader's guide," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 2(2), pages 157-183, August.
  12. Angus Deaton, 1979. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Working Papers 506, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  13. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
  14. Mendoza, Enrique G. & Razin, Assaf & Tesar, Linda L., 1994. "Effective tax rates in macroeconomics: Cross-country estimates of tax rates on factor incomes and consumption," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 297-323, December.
  15. Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
  16. Parry, Ian W. H., 1997. "Environmental taxes and quotas in the presence of distorting taxes in factor markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-220, August.
  17. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
  18. Horst Siebert, 1997. "Labor Market Rigidities: At the Root of Unemployment in Europe," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 11(3), pages 37-54, Summer.
  19. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  20. Dixit, Avinash, 1985. "Tax policy in open economies," Handbook of Public Economics, in: A. J. Auerbach & M. Feldstein (ed.), Handbook of Public Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 6, pages 313-374 Elsevier.
  21. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  22. Williams III, Roberton C., 1999. "Revisiting the cost of protectionism:: The role of tax distortions in the labor market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 429-447, April.
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Cited by:
  1. Ian Parry, 2001. "The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 8(2), pages 147-170, March.
  2. Ian Parry, 2002. "Tax Deductions and the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer, vol. 9(5), pages 531-552, September.
  3. Parry, Ian & Oates, Wallace, 1998. "Policy Analysis in a Second-Best World," Discussion Papers dp-98-48, Resources For the Future.
  4. Wu, Jun & Li, Shaomin & Samsell, Darryl, 2012. "Why some countries trade more, some trade less, some trade almost nothing: The effect of the governance environment on trade flows," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 225-238.

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