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A Welfare Comparison between VERS and Tariffs under the GATT


  • Michael O. Moore
  • Steven M. Suranovic


Economic theory suggests that tariffs are welfare-superior to voluntary export restraints in the presence of perfect competition. However, with perfectly competitive markets, some authors have found that voluntary export restraints may be welfare superior to tariffs. The authors reconsider the comparison between a voluntary export restraint and a tariff in the context of GATT-based constraints. Using a model of perfect competition, the authors show that a voluntary export restraint can welfare-dominate a tariff increase that is accompanied by a compensatory reduction in the tariff on another good or if the tariff is matched with a retaliatory tariff on domestic exports.

Suggested Citation

  • Michael O. Moore & Steven M. Suranovic, 1993. "A Welfare Comparison between VERS and Tariffs under the GATT," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 447-456, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:26:y:1993:i:2:p:447-56

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Joel Fried, 1980. "The Intergenerational Distribution of the Gains from Technical Change and from International Trade," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 13(1), pages 65-81, February.
    3. Kareken, John & Wallace, Neil, 1977. "Portfolio autarky: A welfare analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(1), pages 19-43, February.
    4. Starrett, David A, 1972. "On Golden Rules, the "Biological Theory of Interest," and Competitive Inefficiency," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(2), pages 276-291, March-Apr.
    5. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1985. "Intergenerational and international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 123-139, February.
    6. Krugman, Paul R, 1987. "Is Free Trade Passe?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 131-144, Fall.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael O. Moore, 1996. "Steel Protection in the 1980s: The Waning Influens of Big Steel?," NBER Chapters,in: The Political Economy of American Trade Policy, pages 73-132 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Fuhmei Wang, 2011. "Who Bears the Burden of Voluntary Export Restraints?," Prague Economic Papers, University of Economics, Prague, vol. 2011(3), pages 216-231.

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