Inequality and Relative Reliance on Tariffs: Theory and Evidence
AbstractIn this paper we construct a Ricardian model of trade in vertically-differentiated products between a developing country and the (developed) rest of the world. Despite labour being the only factor of production in this model, tariffs (in addition to income taxes) have distributional consequences because the high-quality imported varieties are consumed only by high-income households. The model predicts a U-shaped relationship between income inequality and the median-voter’s preferred reliance on tariffs versus income taxes in order to effect the desired redistribution. Using data from 44 countries we test for the existence of this U-shaped relationship by estimating a cross-sectional regression relating the ratio of the tariff rate over the tax rate to inequality and a set of control variables such as GDP per capita, openness, the degree of democracy and area dummies. We find that the model’s predictions are supported by the data.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 1457.
Date of creation: 2005
Date of revision:
inequality; tariffs; median-voter; trade; vertical differentiation;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2005-04-30 (All new papers)
- NEP-INT-2005-04-30 (International Trade)
- NEP-POL-2005-04-30 (Positive Political Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Thomas Moutos, 2001. "Why Do Poor democracies Collect a Lot of Tariff Revenue?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 13(1), pages 95-112, 03.
- Meltzer, Allan H & Richard, Scott F, 1981. "A Rational Theory of the Size of Government," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 89(5), pages 914-27, October.
- Hongyi Li & Lyn Squire & Tao Zhang & Heng-fu Zou, 1999.
"A Data Set on Income Distribution,"
CEMA Working Papers
575, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Rodrik, Dani & Alesina, Alberto, 1994.
"Distributive Politics and Economic Growth,"
4551798, Harvard University Department of Economics.
- Romer, Thomas, 1975. "Individual welfare, majority voting, and the properties of a linear income tax," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 163-185, February.
- Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2000.
"Vertical Product Differentiation and the Import Demand Function: Theory and Evidence,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
387, CESifo Group Munich.
- Jim Malley & Thomas Moutos, 2002. "Vertical product differentiation and the import demand function: theory and evidence," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 35(2), pages 257-281, May.
- Feentra, R.C. & Lewis, T.R., 1990.
"Distributing The Gains From Trade With Incomplete Information,"
352, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
- Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Distributing The Gains From Trade With Incomplete Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 21-39, 03.
- Robert Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1990. "Distributing the Gains from Trade With Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 3277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Persson, T. & Tabellini, G., 1993.
"Is Inequality Harmful for Growth,"
537, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
- Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
- Klaus Deininger & Lyn Squire, 1996.
"A New Data Set Measuring Income Inequality,"
CEMA Working Papers
512, China Economics and Management Academy, Central University of Finance and Economics.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004.
"Do democracies have different public policies than non-democracies?,"
0304-14, Columbia University, Department of Economics.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
- Casey B. Mulligan & Xavier Sala-i-Martin & Ricard Gil, 2003. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," NBER Working Papers 10040, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
- Harry P. Bowen & Edward E. Leamer & Leo Sveikauskas, 1986.
"Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory,"
NBER Working Papers
1918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Bowen, Harry P & Leamer, Edward E & Sveikauskas, Leo, 1987. "Multicountry, Multifactor Tests of the Factor Abundance Theory," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 791-809, December.
- 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.
- Antonis Adam & Thomas Moutos, 2002. "The Political Economy of EU Enlargement: Or, Why Japan is not a Candidate Country?," CESifo Working Paper Series 704, CESifo Group Munich.
- Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
- Torsten Persson & Guido Tabellini, 2002. "Political Economics: Explaining Economic Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661314, January.
- Peter K. Schott, 2004. "Across-product Versus Within-product Specialization in International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(2), pages 646-677, May.
- Bruce E. Hansen, 1996.
"Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation,"
Boston College Working Papers in Economics
319., Boston College Department of Economics, revised 12 May 1998.
- Creedy, John, 1977. "Pareto and the Distribution of Income," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 23(4), pages 405-11, December.
- Hwang, Jinyoung & Jung, Kun-Oh, 2002. "Initial asset inequality and tariff formation: a cross-country analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 76(3), pages 405-410, August.
- Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous trade policy through majority voting: an empirical investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1), pages 107-133, October.
- Harms, Philipp & Zink, Stefan, 2003. "Limits to redistribution in a democracy: a survey," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 651-668, November.
- Gonzales-Eiras, Martín & Niepelt, Dirk, 2004.
"Sustaining Social Security,"
731, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
- Martin Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," 2004 Meeting Papers 199, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Martin Gonzalez Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2004. "Sustaining Social Security," Working Papers 72, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Jun 2004.
- Martín Gonzalez-Eiras & Dirk Niepelt, 2005. "Sustaining Social Security," CESifo Working Paper Series 1494, CESifo Group Munich.
- Dirk Niepelt & Martin Gonzalez-Eiras, 2007. "Sustaining Social Security," 2007 Meeting Papers 95, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2006.
"Inequality and the US Import Demand Function,"
CESifo Working Paper Series
1827, CESifo Group Munich.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Julio Saavedra).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.