Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Rules and Discretion in Trade Policy

Contents:

Author Info

  • Robert W. Staiger
  • Guido Tabellini

Abstract

We argue in this paper that the second-best nature of trade-policy intervention makes it likely that the issue of time consistency viii be an important consideration in determining both the extent and the efficacy of such intervention in most environments. The point is seen most directly by noting that a tariff is both a tax on consumers and a subsidy to producers of the import-competing good. Since first-best intervention typically calls for targeting each distortion with a separate tax/subsidy, the tariff will be a more effective policy tool if its consumption tax aspect can be separated from its production subsidy dimension. Consequently, if production decisions are made prior to consumption decisions, a government with sufficient policy flexibility will be tempted to surprise producers with policies other than those announced in an effort to make this separation. This leads optimal trade policy intervention to be time-inconsistent in a wide range of environments. We explore this idea in general terms and illustrate the results with specific examples.

Download Info

If 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.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w2658.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2658.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Jul 1988
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as European Economic Review, December 1989.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2658

Note: ITI IFM
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

References

References listed on IDEAS
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.:
as in new window
  1. Dixit, Avinash, 1987. "Trade and insurance with moral hazard," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 201-220, November.
  2. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
  3. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. Chang, Pao-Li & Lee, Myoung-Jae, 2011. "The WTO trade effect," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 53-71, September.
  2. Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Lapan, Harvey E., 2002. "Time Consistent Export Quotas in an Oligopolistic World Market," Staff General Research Papers 5186, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  3. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 2000. "GATT-think," Working papers 19, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. Harry Flam & Robert W. Staiger, 1989. "Adverse Selection in Credit Markets and Infant Industry Protection," NBER Working Papers 2864, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H., 1999. "Adverse selection, asymmetric information, and foreign investment policies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 239-252, September.
  6. Kresimir Zigic, 2010. "Second-Best Trade Policies, R&D Spillovers and Government (In)ability to Precommit in an Intra-Industry Trade Framework," CERGE-EI Working Papers wp427, The Center for Economic Research and Graduate Education - Economic Institute, Prague.
  7. Glazer, Amihai & Ranjan, Priya, 2007. "Trade protection to reduce redistribution," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 790-805, September.
  8. Žigić, Krešimir, 2011. "Does a ‘non-committed’ government always generate lower social welfare than its ‘committed’ counterpart? Strategic trade policy when consumer surplus matters," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 533-556.
  9. Simon Schropp, 2007. "Revisiting the "Compliance-vs.-Rebalancing" Debate in WTO Scholarship a Unified Research Agenda," IHEID Working Papers 29-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised Dec 2007.
  10. McLaren, John, 1998. "Consequences of discretion in the formation of commodities policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(3), pages 347-370, September.
  11. Peter Welzel, 1992. "A note on the time inconsistency of strategic trade policy," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 3(2), pages 203-214, June.
  12. Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie, 1990. "Tariffs with private information and reputation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 29(1-2), pages 43-67, August.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2658. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.