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The Smoot-Hawley Tariff: A Quantitative Assessment

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  • Douglas A. Irwin

Abstract

In the two years after the imposition of the Smoot-Hawley tariff in June 1930, the volume of U.S. imports fell over 40%. To what extent can this collapse of trade be attributed to the tariff itself versus other factors such as declining income or foreign retaliation? Partial and general equilibrium assessments indicate that the Smoot-Hawley tariff itself reduced imports by 4-8% (ceteris paribus), although the combination of specific duties and deflation further raised the effective tariff and reduced imports an additional 8-10%. A counterfactual simulation suggests that nearly a quarter of the observed 40% decline in imports can be attributed to the rise in the effective tariff (i.e., Smoot-Hawley plus deflation). © 1998 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by MIT Press in its journal The Review of Economics and Statistics.

Volume (Year): 80 (1998)
Issue (Month): 2 (May)
Pages: 326-334

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Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:80:y:1998:i:2:p:326-334

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  1. Shiells, Clinton R, 1991. "Errors in Import-Demand Estimates Based upon Unit-Value Indexes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 73(2), pages 378-82, May.
  2. Clarida, R.H., 1992. "Cointegration, Aggregate Consumption and the Demand for Imports: A Struct ural Econometric Investigation," Discussion Papers 1992_29, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
  3. Kokoski, Mary F & Smith, V Kerry, 1987. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Partial-Equilibrium Welfare Measures: The Case of Climate Change," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 331-41, June.
  4. Shoven,John B. & Whalley,John, 1992. "Applying General Equilibrium," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521319867, April.
  5. Phillips, Peter C B & Loretan, Mico, 1991. "Estimating Long-run Economic Equilibria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 58(3), pages 407-36, May.
  6. Crucini, Mario J. & Kahn, James, 1996. "Tariffs and aggregate economic activity: Lessons from the Great Depression," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 427-467, December.
  7. Robert E. Lipsey, 1963. "Price and Quantity Trends in the Foreign Trade of the United States," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number lips63-1, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Douglas A. Irwin & Randall S. Kroszner, 1996. "Log-Rolling and Economic Interests in the Passage of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers 5510, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Boffa, Mauro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2012. "Protectionism during the crisis: Tit-for-tat or chicken-games?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 117(3), pages 746-749.
  3. Petra Moser & Alessandra Voena, 2009. "Compulsory Licensing - Evidence from the Trading with the Enemy Act," NBER Working Papers 15598, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Eric W. Bond & Mario J. Crucini & Tristan Potter & Joel Rodrigue, 2012. "Misallocation and Productivity Effects of the Smoot-Hawley Tariff," NBER Working Papers 18034, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Douglas A. Irwin, 1996. "Changes in U.S. Tariffs: Prices or Policies?," NBER Working Papers 5665, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bown, Chad P., 2014. "Trade policy instruments over time," Policy Research Working Paper Series 6757, The World Bank.

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