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Credibility, real interest rates, and the optimal speed of trade liberalization

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  • Froot, Kenneth A.

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of imperfectly credible trade liberalization programs on welfare and the allocation of real resources. We present a rational expectations model in which a government, with limited access to international financial markets may be forced to abort a liberalization program if hard-currency reserves are depleted too quickly. The liberalization's lack of perfect credibility arts as a distortion which becomes (rationally) intensified under the typical first-best policy of a direct move to free trade. A gradual lowering of trade barriers turns out to he welfare-superior to an immediate liberalization, and to improve the chance that. the program will ultimately succeed. We then derive the optimal speed of liberalization, the intertemporal allocation of resources, and the liberalization program's credibility.
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  • Froot, Kenneth A., 1988. "Credibility, real interest rates, and the optimal speed of trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1-2), pages 71-93, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:25:y:1988:i:1-2:p:71-93
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    1. Jeffrey A. Frankel, Kenneth A. Froot, and Alejandra Mizala Salces., 1987. "Credibility, the Optimal Speed of Trade Liberalization, Real Interest Rates, and the Latin American Debt," Economics Working Papers 8750, University of California at Berkeley.
    2. Dornbusch, Rudiger, 1983. "Real Interest Rates, Home Goods, and Optimal External Borrowing," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 141-153, February.
    3. Sebastian Edwards & Sweder Van Wijnbergen, 1983. "The Welfare Effects of Trade and Capital Market Liberalization: Consequences of Different Sequencing Scenarios," UCLA Economics Working Papers 313, UCLA Department of Economics.
    4. Maurice Obstfeld, 1984. "Capital Flows, the Current Account, and the Real Exchange Rate: Consequences of Liberalization and Stabilization," NBER Working Papers 1526, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Svensson, Lars E O & Razin, Assaf, 1983. "The Terms of Trade and the Current Account: The Harberger-Laursen-Metzler Effect," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 91(1), pages 97-125, February.
    6. McKinnon, Ronald I., 1982. "The order of economic liberalization: Lessons from Chile and Argentina," Carnegie-Rochester Conference Series on Public Policy, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 159-186, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. Feestra, R.C. & Lewis, T.R. & Mcmillan, J., 1989. "Designing Policies To Open Trade," Papers 349, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    2. Basu, Arnab K. & Chau, Nancy H., 1999. "Adverse selection, asymmetric information, and foreign investment policies," International Review of Economics & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 239-252, September.
    3. Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
    4. Bernardes, Luis G., 2003. "Reference-dependent preferences and the speed of economic liberalization," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 521-548, November.
    5. Conley, John P. & Maloney, William F., 1995. "Optimal sequencing of credible reforms with uncertain outcomes," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(1), pages 151-166, October.
    6. Mehlum, Halvor, 2001. "Capital accumulation, unemployment, and self-fulfilling failure of economic reform," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 291-306, August.
    7. Robert Tatum, 2005. "Sustaining imperfectly credible trade liberalization: Do the rate of tariff reduction and the degree of labour mobility matter?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 407-435.
    8. Mehlum, Halvor, 2001. "Speed of adjustment and self-fulfilling failure of economic reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 149-167, February.

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