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Foreign-owned capital and endogenous tariffs

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  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

Abstract

During the past two decades there has been an important increase in investment abroad and a worldwide rush toward free trade. The author argues that the increase in investment abroad may partially explain the worldwide rush toward free trade. In a model of endogenous determination of trade protection through lobbying - where the government is also concerned about income redistribution among owners of foreign and national factors of production --foreign capital's entry into a host country will probably reduce the endogenous level of protection. If the elasticity of substitution between labor and capital is small enough, the author shows, protection cannot increase after the entry of foreign capital, regardless of the form of investment abroad (whether through acquisition of existing domestic firms or the entry of foreign firms) or its trade orientation (whether foreign capital enters the export or import-competing sectors). There will either be increased counter-lobbying for protection by the export sector or reduced lobbying for protection in the import-competing sector, because of the scale effect associated with an increase in the equilibrium wage. If foreign entry occurs in the import-competing sector, protection might increase because of the scale effect, but under reasonable assumptions about the value of the elasticity of substitution between labor and capital, protection will also fall.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2205.

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Date of creation: 31 Oct 1999
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2205

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Keywords: Capital Markets and Capital Flows; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; Fiscal&Monetary Policy; Trade and Regional Integration; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; International Terrorism&Counterterrorism; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT;

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References

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  1. Grether, Jean-Marie & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1999. "Who determines Mexican trade policy?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2187, The World Bank.
  2. Hillman, Arye L. & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 1996. "The political economy of trade liberalization in the transition," European Economic Review, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 783-794, April.
  3. Hillman, Arye L & Ursprung, Heinrich W, 1993. "Multinational Firms, Political Competition, and International Trade Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(2), pages 347-63, May.
  4. Elhanan Helpman, 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Horstmann, Ignatius J. & Markusen, James R., 1992. "Endogenous market structures in international trade (natura facit saltum)," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 109-129, February.
  6. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-50, September.
  7. Hillman, Arye L, 1982. "Declining Industries and Political-Support Protectionist Motives," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 72(5), pages 1180-87, December.
  8. Schweinberger, Albert G & Vosgerau, Hans J, 1997. "Foreign Factor Ownership and Optimal Tariffs," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 5(1), pages 1-19, February.
  9. Ellingsen, T. & Warneryd, K., 1993. "Foreign direct investment and the political economy of protection," Discussion Paper, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research 1993-8, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  10. Konishi, Hideo & Saggi, Kamal & Weber, Shlomo, 1999. "Endogenous trade policy under foreign direct investment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 289-308, December.
  11. Marcelo Olarreaga, 1998. "Tariff Reductions under Foreign Factor Ownership," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 31(4), pages 830-836, November.
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Cited by:
  1. Wang, Jue-Shyan & Koo, Hui-wen & Chen, Tain-Jy, 2006. "Resource rivalry and endogenous lobby," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 488-511, December.
  2. Andreas Polk, 2002. "Lobbying Activities of Multinational Firms," SOI - Working Papers, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich 0205, Socioeconomic Institute - University of Zurich, revised Jun 2002.
  3. Blanchard, Emily J., 2010. "Reevaluating the role of trade agreements: Does investment globalization make the WTO obsolete?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 63-72, September.

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