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Protection for Sale with Imperfect Rent Capturing

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  • Giovanni Facchini

    (University of Illinois and University of Milan)

  • Johannes Van Biesebroeck

    (University of Toronto and NBER)

  • Gerald Willmann

    (University of Kiel)

Abstract

The Grossman and Helpman (1994) model explains tariffs as the outcome of a lobbying game between special interests and the government. Most empirical implementations of this framework use instead non-tariff barriers to measure the extent of protection. Importantly, while the former set of instruments allow the government to fully capture the rents from protection, the latter does not. As a result, structurally estimating the ‘protection for sale’ model using data on non-tariff barriers is likely to lead to biased parameter estimates. To address this problem, we augment Grossman and Helpman’s (1994) model by explicitly considering trade policy instruments allowing only partial capturing. Taking our specification to the data, we find that, on average, 72–75 percent of the rent is actually captured. Furthermore, we obtain more realistic, lower estimates of the implied share of the population involved in lobbying activities than in the previous literature, while the estimated weight of aggregate welfare in the objective function of the government is as high as in previous studies.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centro Studi Luca d\'Agliano, University of Milano in its series Development Working Papers with number 207.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2005
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Handle: RePEc:csl:devewp:207

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Keywords: Protection for Sale; Non-tariff Barriers; Partial Rent Capturing;

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