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Distributing The Gains From Trade With Incomplete Information

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Author Info

  • FEENTRA, R.C.
  • LEWIS, T.R.

Abstract

We argue that the incomplete information which the government has about domestic agents means that tariffs become an optimal instrument to protect them from import competition. We solve for the optimal government policies. subject to the political constraint of ensuring Pareto gains from trade, the incentive compatibility constraint, and the government's budget constraint. We find that the optimal policies take the form of nonlinear tariffs, so that both buyers and sellers of the import face an effective price which exceeds its world level. We find that the tariffs are never complete, in the sense of bringing prices (or all individuals back to their initial level. Rather, it will always be possible to make some individuals strictly better off than at the initial prices, while ensuring that no persons are worse off.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs in its series Papers with number 352.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 1990
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:fth:caldav:352

Contact details of provider:
Postal: UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA DAVIS, INSTITUTE OF GOVERNMENTAL AFFAIRS, RESEARCH PROGRAM IN APPLIED MACROECONOMICS AND MACRO POLICY, DAVIS CALIFORNIA 95616 U.S.A.

Related research

Keywords: information ; competition ; international trade ; tariffs;

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References

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  1. Lewis, T.R. & Ware, R. & Feenstra, R., 1988. "Eliminating Price Supports: A Political Economy Perspective," Papers 319, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  2. Robert C. Feenstra & Jagdish N. Bhagwati, 1982. "Tariff Seeking and the Efficient Tariff," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 245-262 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Feenstra, Robert C & Lewis, Tracy R, 1991. "Negotiated Trade Restrictions with Private Political Pressure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1287-307, November.
  4. Cassing, James H. & Hillman, Arye L., 1985. "Political influence motives and the choice between tariffs and quotas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3-4), pages 279-290, November.
  5. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
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Cited by:
  1. Rodrik, Dani, 1994. "What does the Political Economy Literature on Trade Policy (Not) Tell Us That We Ought to Know?," CEPR Discussion Papers 1039, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Margarita Katsimi & Thomas Moutos, 2005. "Inequality and Relative Reliance on Tariffs: Theory and Evidence," CESifo Working Paper Series 1457, CESifo Group Munich.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Trade Adjustment Assistance and Pareto Gains From Trade," NBER Working Papers 3845, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2006. "Persistent Distortionary Policies with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 387-393, March.
  5. Thierry Verdier, 2005. "Intégration commerciale « socialement responsable » : une approche en termes d'économie politique," Revue d’économie du développement, De Boeck Université, vol. 19(4), pages 55-121.
  6. Andrea Moro & Matthew F. Mitchell, 2005. "Informationally Efficient Trade Barriers," Public Economics 0503004, EconWPA.
  7. Limao, Nuno & Panagariya, Arvind, 2007. "Inequality and endogenous trade policy outcomes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 292-309, July.

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