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Estimating trade restrictiveness indices

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  • Kee, Hiau Looi
  • Nicita, Alessandro
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

Abstract

The objective of this paper is to provide indicators of trade restrictiveness that include both measures of tariff and nontariff barriers for 91 developing and industrial countries. For each country, the authors estimate three trade restrictiveness indices. The first one summarizes the degree of trade distortions that each country imposes on itself through its own trade policies. The second one focuses on the trade distortions imposed by each country on its import bundle. The last index focuses on market access and summarizes the trade distortions imposed by the rest of the world on each country's export bundle. All indices are estimated for the broad aggregates of manufacturing and agriculture products. Results suggest that poor countries (and those with the highest poverty headcount) tend to be more restrictive, but they also face the highest trade barriers on their export bundle. This is partly explained by the fact that agriculture protection is generally larger than manufacturing protection. Nontariff barriers contribute more than 70 percent on average to world protection, underlying their importance for any study on trade protection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3840.

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Date of creation: 01 Feb 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3840

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Keywords: Free Trade; Economic Theory&Research; Trade Policy; Consumption; Markets and Market Access;

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  1. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1998. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 416, Boston College Department of Economics.
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  4. Nogues, Julio J & Olechowski, Andrzej & Winters, L Alan, 1986. "The Extent of Nontariff Barriers to Industrial Countries' Imports," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 181-99, September.
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  12. Hiau Looi Kee & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import demand elasticities and trade distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3452, The World Bank.
  13. Bernard Hoekman & Francis Ng & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2004. "Agricultural Tariffs or Subsidies: Which Are More Important for Developing Economies?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 175-204.
  14. Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1997. "Measurement of Non-Tariff Barriers," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
  15. James E Anderson & J Peter Neary, 2004. "Welfare versus Market Access - The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform," Working Papers 200423, School Of Economics, University College Dublin.
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  17. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  18. Edward E. Leamer, 1986. "Cross Section Estimation of the Effects of Trade Barriers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 417, UCLA Department of Economics.
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