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Dynamics and Discriminatory Import Policy

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  • Theodore To

Abstract

Although the GATT prohibits discriminatory import tariffs, it includes means for circumventing this prohibition. The previous literature uses static models and discriminatory tariffs increase welfare. In a dynamic model, if governments lack the ability to precommit, this is not necessarily true. For example, with consumer switching costs, tariffs are higher for firms with higher market share. Rationally expecting such policies, firms price less aggressively. If switching costs are significant relative to asymmetries, then higher prices can result in lower importing country welfare. Thus it may be in interests of importers to abide by the GATT MFN principle

Suggested Citation

  • Theodore To, 1999. "Dynamics and Discriminatory Import Policy," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 32(4), pages 1057-1068, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:cje:issued:v:32:y:1999:i:4:p:1057-1068
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hong Hwang & Chao-Cheng Mai, 1991. "Optimum Discriminatory Tariffs under Oligopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 693-702, August.
    2. Paul Klemperer, 1995. "Competition when Consumers have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 62(4), pages 515-539.
    3. To, Theodore, 1994. "Export subsidies and oligopoly with switching costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 97-110, August.
    4. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A. & Dinopoulos, Elias & Srinivasan, T. N., 1987. "Quid pro quo foreign investment and welfare : A political-economy-theoretic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 127-138, October.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.
    7. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Foreign Investment with Endogenous Protection," NBER Working Papers 4876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "The Competitiveness of Markets with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 138-150, Spring.
    9. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
    10. Anderson, James E, 1992. "Domino Dumping, I: Competitive Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 65-83, March.
    11. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-159, April.
    12. Gatsios, Konstantine, 1990. "Preferential tariffs and the 'most favoured nation' principle: A note," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 365-373, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Horn, Henrik & Mavroidis, Petros C., 2001. "Economic and legal aspects of the Most-Favored-Nation clause," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 233-279, June.
    2. Elder, Erick & To, Ted, 1999. "Consumer switching costs and private information," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 63(3), pages 369-375, June.

    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
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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