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The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy

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Author Info

  • James E. Anderson

    (Boston College)

  • J. Peter Neary

    (University College Dublin)

Abstract

We introduce an index of trade policy restrictiveness defined as the uniform tariff which maintains the same trade volume as a given tariff/quota structure. Our index overcomes the problems of the trade-weighted average tariff - it avoids substitution bias, correctly accounts for general equilibrium transfers, and takes import volume rather than welfare as benchmark. Empirical applications to international cross-section and time-series comparisons of trade policy confirm our theoretical results - trade-weighted average tariffs generally underestimate the true height of tariffs as measured by the trade-volume-equivalent index; this in turn always underestimates the welfare-equivalent index.

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File URL: http://www.ucd.ie/economics/research/papers/1998/WP98.13.pdf
File Function: First version, 1998
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by School Of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 199813.

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Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 11 Jul 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:199813

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Related research

Keywords: International trade policy; tariffs; quotas; Trade Restrictiveness Index; trade liberalisation;

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References

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  1. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 107-25, January.
  2. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
  3. Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 1993. "Domestic distortions and international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1163, The World Bank.
  4. Anderson, James E., 1992. "Tariff index theory," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1023, The World Bank.
  5. Cox, David & Harris, Richard, 1985. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Organization: Some Estimates for Canada," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(1), pages 115-45, February.
  6. Neary, J Peter & Schweinberger, Albert G, 1984. "Factor Content Functions and the Theory of International Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 3, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2003. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 627-649, 05.
  8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "An Economic Theory of GATT," NBER Working Papers 6049, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Anderson, James E, 1998. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(449), pages 1111-25, July.
  10. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Technology and Trade," CEPR Discussion Papers 1134, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Pritchett, Lant & Sethi, Geeta, 1994. "Tariff Rates, Tariff Revenue, and Tariff Reform: Some New Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-16, January.
  12. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
  13. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  14. 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-.
  15. Aw, Bee Yan & Roberts, Mark J., 1986. "Measuring quality change in quota-constrained import markets: The Case of U.S. Footwear," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 45-60, August.
  16. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
  17. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Measuring protection: a cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-183, June.
  18. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Randi Boorstein & Robert C. Feenstra, 1987. "Quality Upgrading and its Welfare Cost in U.S. Steel Imports, 1969-74," NBER Working Papers 2452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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