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The Trade Agreement Embarrassment, Second Version

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  • Wilfred J. Ethier

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

The dominant academic literature about trade agreements maintains that they are only about national terms-of-trade manipulation and not at all about purely political concerns. Non-academic economists, commentators, and diplomats by contrast think that trade agreements are all about political concerns. There are two substantive and important distinctions between the two views. i Practitioners maintain that policymakers care virtually not at all about the terms of trade or about trade-tax revenue ii Practitioners, unlike academics, maintain that trade-agreement negotiations themselves change the underlying political economy. Observation of actual trade policy measures, though not conclusive, suggests that the practitioners are right and that the academics are wrong.

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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 13-049.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: 27 May 2013
Date of revision: 02 Sep 2013
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:13-049

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Keywords: Multilateralism; Standard Academic Model; Practitioners’ Conventional Wisdom; terms of trade; political economy;

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  1. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2004. "Political Externalities, Nondiscrimination, and a Multilateral World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 303-320, 08.
  2. Facchini, Giovanni & van Biesebroeck, Johannes & Willmann, Gerald, 2003. "Protection for Sale with Imperfect Rent Capturing," Economics Working Papers 2004,01, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
  3. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2012. "The Political-Support Approach To Protection," Global Journal of Economics (GJE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(01), pages 1250001-1-1.
  4. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2006. "Selling Protection for Sale," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-014, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 01 Jun 2006.
  5. Theo Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2002. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1702-1710, December.
  6. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Ethier, Wilfred J., 2007. "The theory of trade policy and trade agreements: A critique," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 605-623, September.
  8. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios Thomakos & Mehmet Ulubasoglu, 2006. "Can we obtain realistic parameter estimates for the `protection for sale' model?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(1), pages 187-210, February.
  9. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  10. Donald H. Regan, 2006. "What Are Trade Agreements For? -- Two Conflicting Stories Told by Economists, With a Lesson for Lawyers," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 9(4), pages 951-988, December.
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