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Trade Policies Based on Political Externalities: An Exploration, Third Version

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  • Wilfred J. Ethier

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

During the past half century, multilateral trade liberalization has reduced tariffs to historically low levels. The Received Theory of multilateral trade agreements, based solely on terms-of-trade externalities between national governments, offers an explanation that has become the conventional wisdom among international trade theorists. But this explanation displays two puzzles that render it inconsistent with actual trade policy and actual trade agreements: the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle and the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle. This paper addresses inter-governmental political externalities in a model with terms-of-trade externalities. The model resolves the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle if and only if political externalities dominate terms-of-trade externalities. But it resolves the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle, and delivers results consistent with what we actually observe, only if terms-of-trade externalities play no role whatsoever.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 04-006.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: 23 Nov 2002
Date of revision: 04 Feb 2004
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:04-006

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Web page: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/pier
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Related research

Keywords: Political externalities; trade agreements; the Received Theory; the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle; the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle;

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References

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  1. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, December.
  2. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  3. Finger, J. Michael, 1990. "The GATT as international discipline over trade restrictions : a public choice approach," Policy Research Working Paper Series 402, The World Bank.
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  5. 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.
  6. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "The Politics of Free Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 4597, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2004. "Political Externalities, Nondiscrimination, and a Multilateral World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 303-320, 08.
  8. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  9. Arye L. Hillman & Ngo Van Long & Peter Moser, 1995. "Modelling Reciprocal Trade Liberalization: The Political-economy and National-welfare Perspectives," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 131(III), pages 503-515, September.
  10. Levy, Philip I., 1999. "Lobbying and international cooperation in tariff setting," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 345-370, April.
  11. Hillman, Arye L, 1990. " Protectionist Policies as the Regulation of International Industry," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 67(2), pages 101-10, November.
  12. 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.
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Cited by:
  1. Limao, Nuno & Panagariya, Arvind, 2007. "Inequality and endogenous trade policy outcomes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 292-309, July.
  2. Rolf J. Langhammer, 2009. "Unordnung in der Internationalen Handelsordnung. Befunde, Gründe, Auswirkungen und Therapien," Kiel Working Papers 1533, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.

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