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Implicit Policy Preferences and Trade Reform by Tariff Aggregates

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  • Rod Tyers

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Abstract

Pressure from negotiators on agricultural tariff reform in the Doha Round is favouring commitments to reduce “average” tariffs over a range of commodities. This stems from the perceived need for “flexibility” in protection levels, particularly for some highly protected product groups like sugar, dairy products and rice. Yet reforms that reduce the average tariff across agricultural products but raise tariff dispersion may well reduce welfare and therefore defy the spirit of the negotiations. This paper develops a practical approach to identifying the policy preferences implicit in existing tariff patterns and employs these preferences in formulating mathematical programs that represent the primary policy formation process. These are solved and the effects explored of reform by reductions in either the arithmetic or the trade value weighted average of tariffs. In applications to the EU and Japan, tariff dispersion is found to increase with either averaging formula but by more in the trade value weighted case

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics in its series ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics with number 2004-445.

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Length: 27 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:acb:cbeeco:2004-445

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  1. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 151-69, May.
  2. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  3. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, December.
  4. Jean-Christophe Bureau & Luca Salvatici, 2003. "WTO Negociations on Market Access in Agriculture: a Comparison of alternative Tariff Cut Proposals for the EU and the US," Working Papers 2003/03, INRA, Economie Publique.
  5. Anderson, Kym, 1980. "The Political Market for Government Assistance to Australian Manufacturing Industries," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 56(153), pages 132-44, June.
  6. Tyers, Rod, 1990. "Implicit policy preferences and the assessment of negotiable trade policy reforms," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1399-1426, November.
  7. Bach, Christian F. & Martin, Will, 2001. "Would the right tariff aggregator for policy analysis please stand up?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(6), pages 621-635, August.
  8. Zusman, Pinhas, 1976. "The Incorporation and Measurement of Social Power in Economic Models," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 447-62, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Francois, Joseph & Nelson, Douglas & Pelkmans-Balaoing, Annette, 2008. "Endogenous Protection in General Equilibrium: Estimating Political Weights in the EU," CEPR Discussion Papers 6979, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

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