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Welfare versus Market Access: The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform

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  • James E. Anderson

    ()
    (Boston College)

  • J. Peter Neary

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

We show that the effects of tariff changes on welfare and import volume can be fully characterised by their effects on the generalised mean and variance of the tariff distribution. Using these tools, we derive new results for welfare- and market-access-improving tariff changes, which imply two "cones of liberalisation" in price space. Because welfare is negatively but import volume positively related to the generalised variance, the cones do not intersect, which poses a dilemma for trade policy reform. Finally, we show that generalised and trade-weighted moments are mutually proportional when the trade expenditure function is CES.

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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 601.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:601

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Keywords: Concertina rule; Market access; Piecemeal policy reform; Tariff moments; Uniform tariff reductions.;

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  1. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1998. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 416, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra, 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," CEPR Discussion Papers 683, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2003. "Formula Approaches for Market Access Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. James E. Anderson, 1993. "Tariff Index Theory," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 215, Boston College Department of Economics.
  6. Joseph Francois & Will Martin, 2002. "Commercial Policy Variability, Bindings, and Market Access," International Trade 0210002, EconWPA.
  7. J. P. Neary, 1997. "Pitfalls in the theory of international trade policy: concertina reforms of tariffs and subsidies to high technology industries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20341, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 531-54, August.
  9. Fukushima, Takashi, 1979. "Tariff Structure, Nontraded Goods and Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 427-35, June.
  10. Bruno, Michael, 1972. "Market Distortions and Gradual Reform," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 373-83, July.
  11. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  12. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Ju, Jiandong & Krishna, Kala, 2000. "Welfare and market access effects of piecemeal tariff reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-316, August.
  14. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
  15. Diewert, W E & Turunen-Red, A H & Woodland, A D, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215, April.
  16. Foster, Edward & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1970. "Price Distortion and Economic Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 281-97, March.
  17. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
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