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An Alternative Welfare Decomposition for Customs Unions


  • Glenn W. Harrison
  • Thomas F. Rutherford
  • Ian Wooton


The authors present a means of evaluating the effects of customs-union formation by a decomposition of the overall welfare effect into two components: the consequences of induced changes in domestic prices; and the effects on income of adjustments in tariff rates and endogenous changes in the pattern and volume of trade. A virtue of the proposed decomposition is that it is path independent, providing unambiguous results for analyses of both marginal and discrete changes in tariff rates. This property means that the decomposition may be numerically implemented to provide better insight into the welfare effects of economic integration.

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  • Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas F. Rutherford & Ian Wooton, 1993. "An Alternative Welfare Decomposition for Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 961-968, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:26:y:1993:i:4:p:961-68

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Anna Maria Mayda & Chad Steinberg, 2009. "Do South-South trade agreements increase trade? Commodity-level evidence from COMESA," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 42(4), pages 1361-1389, November.
    2. Furusawa, Taiji & Konishi, Hideo, 2004. "A welfare decomposition in quasi-linear economies," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 29-34, October.
    3. Denise Eby Konan & Keith E Maskus, 2000. "Bilateral Trade Patterns and Welfare: An Egypt-EU Preferential Trade Agreement," Working Papers 200001, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    4. Marcelo Olarreaga, 1998. "Why Are Trade Agreements More Attractive In The Presence Of Foreign Direct Investment?," Swiss Journal of Economics and Statistics (SJES), Swiss Society of Economics and Statistics (SSES), vol. 134(IV), pages 565-583, December.
    5. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 2001. "Chile's regional arrangements and the Free Trade Agreement of the Americas : the importance of market access," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2634, The World Bank.
    6. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1997. "Trade policy options for Chile : a quantitative evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1783, The World Bank.
    7. Glenn W Harrison & Thomas F Rutherford & David G Tarr, 1997. "Opciones de Política Comercial para Chile: Una Evaluación Cuantitativa," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 34(102), pages 101-137.
    8. Burfisher, Mary E. & Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 2004. "Regionalism," MTID discussion papers 65, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Miles Kenneth LIGHT & Thomas Fox RUTHERFORD, 2003. "Free Trade Area of the Americas. An impact Assessment for Colombia," ARCHIVOS DE ECONOMÍA 002744, DEPARTAMENTO NACIONAL DE PLANEACIÓN.

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