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A Theory of Managed Trade


  • Bagwell, Kyle
  • Staiger, Robert W


This paper proposes a theory that predicts low levels of protection during periods of "normal" trade volume coupled with episodes of "special" protection when trade volumes surge. This dynamic pattern of protection emerges from a model in which countries choose levels of protection in a repeated game facing volatile trade swings. High trade volume leads to a greater incentive to defect unilaterally from cooperative tariff levels. Therefore, as the volume of trade expands, the level of protection must rise in a cooperative equilibrium to mitigate the rising trade volume and hold the incentive to defect in check. Copyright 1990 by American Economic Association.

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  • Bagwell, Kyle & Staiger, Robert W, 1990. "A Theory of Managed Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(4), pages 779-795, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:80:y:1990:i:4:p:779-95

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-153, March.
    2. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Negotiated Trade Restrictions with Private Political Pressure," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 1287-1307.
    3. Rotemberg, Julio J & Saloner, Garth, 1986. "A Supergame-Theoretic Model of Price Wars during Booms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(3), pages 390-407, June.
    4. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    5. Farrell, Joseph & Maskin, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation in repeated games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 1(4), pages 327-360, December.
    6. Riezman, Raymond, 1991. "Dynamic tariffs with asymmetric information," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(3-4), pages 267-283, May.
    7. Harry G. Johnson, 1953. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(2), pages 142-153.
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