IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/aea/aecrev/v98y2008i5p2032-65.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Christian Broda
  • Nuno Limao
  • David E. Weinstein

Abstract

We find that prior to World Trade Organization membership, countries set import tariffs 9 percentage points higher on inelastically supplied imports relative to those supplied elastically. The magnitude of this effect is similar to the size of average tariffs in these countries, and market power explains more of the tariff variation than a commonly used political economy variable. Moreover, US trade restrictions not covered by the WTO are significantly higher on goods where the United States has more market power. We find strong evidence that these importers have market power and use it in setting noncooperative trade policy. (JEL F12, F13)

Suggested Citation

  • Christian Broda & Nuno Limao & David E. Weinstein, 2008. "Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2032-2065, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:2032-65
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.2032
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/articles.php?doi=10.1257/aer.98.5.2032
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: http://www.aeaweb.org/aer/data/dec08/20060147_data.zip
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to AEA members and institutional subscribers.
    ---><---

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. Won Chang & L. Alan Winters, 2015. "How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Non-Tariff Barriers, Regionalism and Poverty Essays in Applied International Trade Analysis, chapter 11, pages 199-214, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    3. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1995. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(4), pages 675-708, August.
    4. Bruce E. Hansen, 2000. "Sample Splitting and Threshold Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 68(3), pages 575-604, May.
    5. Christian Broda & N. Limao & D. Weinstein, 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," 2006 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    6. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589833, October.
    7. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
    8. Rose, Andrew K., 2004. "Do WTO members have more liberal trade policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 209-235, July.
    9. Feenstra, Robert C., 1989. "Symmetric pass-through of tariffs and exchange rates under imperfect competition: An empirical test," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 25-45, August.
    10. Rauch, James E., 1999. "Networks versus markets in international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 7-35, June.
    11. Gros, Daniel, 1987. "A note on the optimal tariff, retaliation and the welfare loss from tariff wars in a framework with intra-industry trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 357-367, November.
    12. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2011. "What Do Trade Negotiators Negotiate About? Empirical Evidence from the World Trade Organization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(4), pages 1238-1273, June.
    13. Alvarez, Fernando & Lucas, Robert Jr., 2007. "General equilibrium analysis of the Eaton-Kortum model of international trade," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(6), pages 1726-1768, September.
    14. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589819, October.
    15. Irwin, Douglas A, 1988. "Welfare Effects of British Free Trade: Debate and Evidence from the 1840s," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(6), pages 1142-1164, December.
    16. Kreps,David M. & Wallis,Kenneth F. (ed.), 1997. "Advances in Economics and Econometrics: Theory and Applications," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521589826, October.
    17. Markusen, James R & Wigle, Randall M, 1989. "Nash Equilibrium Tariffs for the United States and Canada: The Roles of Country Size, Scale Economies, and Capital Mobility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(2), pages 368-386, April.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Christian Broda & N. Limao & D. Weinstein, 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," 2006 Meeting Papers 381, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    2. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limão, Nuno, 2008. "The clash of liberalizations: Preferential vs. multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 299-327, March.
    3. Rodney D. Ludema & Anna Maria Mayda, 2010. "Do Terms-of-Trade Effects Matter for Trade Agreements? Evidence from WTO Countries," Development Working Papers 293, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    4. Ludema, Rodney D. & Mayda, Anna Maria & Yu, Zhi & Yu, Miaojie, 2021. "The political economy of protection in GVCs: Evidence from Chinese micro data," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 131(C).
    5. Nuno Limão & Patricia Tovar, 2018. "Policy choice: Theory and evidence from commitment via international trade agreements," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 6, pages 179-198, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. 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.
    7. Ludema, Rodney D & Mayda, Anna Maria & McClure, Jonathan C. F., 2015. "Dragons, Giants, Elephants and Mice: Evolution of the MFN Free Rider Problem in the WTO Era," CEPR Discussion Papers 10961, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Anna Maria Mayda & Rodney D. Ludema & Miaojie Yu & Zhi Yu, 2018. "The political economy of protection in GVCs: Evidence from Chinese micro data," Working Papers gueconwpa~18-18-07, Georgetown University, Department of Economics.
    9. Francois, Joseph & Nelson, Douglas R., 2014. "Political support for trade policy in the European Union," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 36(C), pages 243-253.
    10. Willmann, Gerald, 2003. "Why Legislators are Protectionists: The Role of Majoritarian Voting in Setting Tariffs," Economics Working Papers 2003-10, Christian-Albrechts-University of Kiel, Department of Economics.
    11. Stephen Devadoss & Jeff Luckstead, 2020. "US–Brazilian cotton policies," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(8), pages 2222-2236, August.
    12. Giovanni Facchini, 2004. "The political economy of international trade and factor mobility," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 1-32, February.
    13. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.
    14. Facchini, Giovanni & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2011. "Do interest groups affect US immigration policy?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 114-128, September.
    15. Mirabelle Muûls & Dimitra Petropoulou, 2013. "A swing state theory of trade protection in the Electoral College," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 46(2), pages 705-724, May.
    16. Baybars Karacaovali, 2011. "Productivity Matters For Trade Policy: Theory And Evidence," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 52(1), pages 33-62, February.
    17. Annicchiarico, Barbara & Marvasi, Enrico, 2019. "Protection for sale under monopolistic competition: Beyond the CES," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 60(C).
    18. Karacaovali, Baybars & Limao, Nuno, 2005. "The clash of liberalizations : preferential versus multilateral trade liberalization in the European Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3493, The World Bank.
    19. John A. List & Daniel M. Sturm, 2006. "How Elections Matter: Theory and Evidence from Environmental Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 121(4), pages 1249-1281.
    20. Larry D. Qiu, 2004. "Lobbying, multisector trade, and sustainability of free‐trade agreements," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 37(4), pages 1061-1083, November.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

    Lists

    This item is featured on the following reading lists, Wikipedia, or ReplicationWiki pages:
    1. Optimal Tariffs and Market Power: The Evidence (AER 2008) in ReplicationWiki

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:2032-65. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Michael P. Albert (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/aeaaaea.html .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.