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Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs, and Subsidies to High-Technology Industries

  • Neary, J Peter

This paper explores the links between international trade theory and the practice of trade and industrial policy in open economies, with special attention to three areas where theoretical lessons have been misunderstood in policy debates. The author argues that the 'concertina rule' for tariff reform justifies reductions in high tariffs but not moves toward uniformity and particularly not increases in low tariffs. He shows that the basic principles of tariff reform are the same in unilateral, multilateral, and customs union contexts. Finally, the author suggests that the theory of strategic trade policy does not justify subsidies to high-technology industries. Copyright 1998 by The editors of the Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Scandinavian Journal of Economics.

Volume (Year): 100 (1998)
Issue (Month): 1 (March)
Pages: 187-206

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Handle: RePEc:bla:scandj:v:100:y:1998:i:1:p:187-206
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  1. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Public Policy Towards R&D in Oligopolistic Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1243, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  3. repec:oup:restud:v:44:y:1977:i:1:p:1-21 is not listed on IDEAS
  4. 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.
  5. Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 531-54, August.
  6. J. Peter Neary, 1990. "Cost asymmetries in international subsidy games : should governments help winners or losers?," Working Papers 199008, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  7. repec:oup:restud:v:56:y:1989:i:2:p:199-215 is not listed on IDEAS
  8. Leahy, Dermot & Neary, J Peter, 1997. "R&D Spillovers and the Case for Industrial Policy in an Open Economy," CEPR Discussion Papers 1671, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. repec:oup:restud:v:46:y:1979:i:3:p:391-405 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
  11. James A. Brander, 1995. "Strategic Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5020, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. d'ASPREMONT, Claude & JACQUEMIN, Alexis, . "Cooperative and noncooperative R&D in duopoly with spillovers," CORE Discussion Papers RP 823, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  13. Dixit, Avinash K, 1970. "On the Optimum Structure of Commodity Taxes," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 60(3), pages 295-301, June.
  14. James E. Anderson, 1997. "Trade Reform with a Government Budget Constraint," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 348., Boston College Department of Economics.
  15. repec:oup:restud:v:50:y:1983:i:4:p:707-22 is not listed on IDEAS
  16. Falvey, Rodney E., 1988. "Tariffs, quotas and piecemeal policy reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 177-183, August.
  17. Neary, J Peter & Leahy, Dermot, 2000. "Strategic Trade and Industrial Policy towards Dynamic Oligopolies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 110(463), pages 484-508, April.
  18. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
  19. Dermot Leahy & J. Peter Neary, 1995. "International R&D rivalry and industrial strategy without government commitment," Working Papers 199512, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  20. Turunen-Red, Arja H & Woodland, Alan D, 1991. "Strict Pareto-Improving Multilateral Reforms of Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(4), pages 1127-52, July.
  21. Fudenberg, Drew & Tirole, Jean, 1984. "The Fat-Cat Effect, the Puppy-Dog Ploy, and the Lean and Hungry Look," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(2), pages 361-66, May.
  22. Barbara J. Spencer & James A. Brander, 1983. "International R&D Rivalry and Industrial Strategy," NBER Working Papers 1192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1986. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 101(2), pages 383-406.
  24. Sandmo, Agnar, 1974. "A Note on the Structure of Optimal Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(4), pages 701-06, September.
  25. Smith, Alasdair, 1982. "Some simple results on the gains from trade, from growth and from public production," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 13(3-4), pages 215-230, November.
  26. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:3:p:421-32 is not listed on IDEAS
  27. 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.
  28. repec:oup:restud:v:53:y:1986:i:2:p:293-99 is not listed on IDEAS
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