African Trade Policy in the 1990s: Political Economy or Technocratic Reforms?
AbstractThe majority of African countries implemented import liberalisation in the 1990s. This paper explores factors that may explain the pattern of protection and of tariff reform. We consider political economy explanations, motivated specifically by the Grossman and Helpman (1994) model of protection in response to industry lobbies, and the possibility that reforms are technocratic. Using industry-level data for a sample of six African countries, we find limited evidence that political economy factors have influenced the pattern of tariffs or tariff reductions since the early 1990s. One result does appear frequently: relative sector size (measured by the number of employees or establishments) appears to be associated with the relative level of protection. We then explore various descriptive statistics for tariff changes in seven African countries. The analysis suggests that the pattern of tariff reductions was essentially technocratic in structure - across the board reduction in average tariffs and in the dispersion of rates, with larger proportional reductions for higher tariffs – consistent with policy reforms being guided by the World Bank. While political economy factors may have influenced the initial pattern of protection, the technocratic reforms since the early 1990s have diluted political economy influences on average and relative protection.
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 University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 08/01.
Date of creation:
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: School of Economics University of Nottingham University Park Nottingham NG7 2RD
Phone: (44) 0115 951 5620
Fax: (0115) 951 4159
Web page: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/economics/
More information through EDIRC
Pattern of Protection; Tariff Reform; Political Economy; Africa;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AFR-2008-05-24 (Africa)
- NEP-ALL-2008-05-24 (All new papers)
- NEP-DEV-2008-05-24 (Development)
- NEP-INT-2008-05-24 (International Trade)
- NEP-POL-2008-05-24 (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.:
- Neary, J Peter, 1997.
"Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs and Subsidies to HIgh-Technology Industries,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
1740, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Neary, J Peter, 1998. " Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs, and Subsidies to High-Technology Industries," Scandinavian Journal of Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 100(1), pages 187-206, March.
- J.P. Neary, 1997. "Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs and Subsidies to High Technology Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0346, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
- Neary, J. P., 1997. "Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs, and Subsidies to High-Technology Industries," Papers 97/26, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
- Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
- kishore gawande & pravin krishna, 2005. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy: Empirical Approaches," International Trade 0503003, EconWPA.
- Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
- Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999.
"Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
- James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200.
- Oliver Morrissey, 2005. "Imports and Implementation: Neglected Aspects of Trade in the Report of the Commission for Africa," The Journal of Development Studies, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 41(6), pages 1133-1153.
- Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
- Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.