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Tariff Index Theory

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  • James E. Anderson

    (Department of Economics, Boston College)

Abstract

Tariff indexes such as trade weighted means, variances and coefficients of variation are commonly used to compare the overall restrictiveness of trade policy over time and across countries despite their lack of theoretical foundation. Anderson and Neary (1991) define a welfare-consistent tariff index, the trade restrictiveness index. This paper compares the various concepts and shows how the trade restrictiveness index may be expressed in terms of "marginal trade weighted moments" of the tariff schedule. In the Cobb-Douglas case, the trade restrictiveness index collapses to a function of a trade-weighted variance of tariffs are efficient.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 215.

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Date of creation: Dec 1993
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Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:215

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  1. Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 1992. "A new approach to evaluating trade policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1022, The World Bank.
  2. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Recommendation for a Better Tariff Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(8), pages 1859-69, November.
  3. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
  4. Lopez, Ramon & Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "On the Theory of Piecemeal Tariff Reform: The Case of Pure Imported Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 615-25, June.
  5. Anderson, James E. & Bannister, Geoffrey, 1992. "The trade restrictiveness index : an application to Mexican agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 874, The World Bank.
  6. Bertrand, Trent J & Vanek, Jaroslav, 1971. "The Theory of Tariffs, Taxes, and Subsidies: Some Aspects of the Second Best," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 61(5), pages 925-31, December.
  7. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
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