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Import penetration and the politics of trade protection

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  • Maggi, Giovanni
  • Rodriguez-Clare, Andres

Abstract

In this paper we reconsider a key empirical prediction generated by an important class of political-economy models of trade policy, namely that trade protection should be higher in sectors characterized by lower import penetration (we call this the little support for this prediction. In this paper we argue that the standard prediction depends critically on the assumptions that trade taxes are the only policy instruments and that the government has access to non-distortionary taxation. We analyze a model in which the government can use quotas and VERs in addition to trade taxes and raising public funds may be costly. Under a simple sufficient condition, our model predicts that the protection level increases with import penetration, both in sectors that are protected with tariffs and in sectors that are protected with quantitative restrictions.
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  • Maggi, Giovanni & Rodriguez-Clare, Andres, 2000. "Import penetration and the politics of trade protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 287-304, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:51:y:2000:i:2:p:287-304
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    Cited by:

    1. Giovanni Facchini & Johannes Van Biesebroeck & Gerald Willmann, 2006. "Protection for sale with imperfect rent capturing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 39(3), pages 845-873, August.
    2. Philip I. Levy, 2003. "Non-Tariff Barriers as a Test of Political Economy Theories," Working Papers 852, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
    3. Theo S Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2000. "Politics and Trade Policy: An Empirical Investigation"," Working Papers 0004, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    4. Silva, Peri, 2011. "The role of importers and exporters in the determination of the U.S. tariff preferences granted to Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 207-219, March.
    5. James Lake & Maia Linask, 2015. "Costly distribution and the non-equivalence of tariffs and quotas," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 165(3), pages 211-238, December.
    6. Matschke, Xenia, 2008. "Costly revenue-raising and the case for favoring import-competing industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(1), pages 143-157, January.
    7. Lastauskas, Povilas, 2013. "Europe's revolving doors: Import competition and endogenous firm entry institutions," Kiel Advanced Studies Working Papers 464, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    8. Mateos-Planas, Xavier, 2000. "Creative destruction and public policy in a vintage model of endogenous growth," Discussion Paper Series In Economics And Econometrics 0032, Economics Division, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton.
    9. Xenia Matschke & Shane M. Sherlund, 2006. "Do Labor Issues Matter in the Determination of U.S. Trade Policy? An Empirical Reevaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 405-421.
    10. Sonia Naccache, 2008. "The Political Economy of Trade Policy in Tunisia," Working Papers 438, Economic Research Forum, revised 09 Jan 2008.
    11. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
    12. Johan F.M.Swinnen & Alessandro Olper & Thijs Vandemoortele, 2011. "The Political Economy of Policy Instrument Choice: Theory and Evidence from Agricultural Policies," LICOS Discussion Papers 27911, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    13. Theo Eicher & Thomas Osang, 2002. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation: Comment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(5), pages 1702-1710, December.
    14. Abbassi, Abdessalem & Tamini, Lota D. & Dakhlaoui, Ahlem, 2015. "Import quota allocation between regions under Cournot competition," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 484-490.
    15. Bradford, Scott, 2003. "Protection and jobs: explaining the structure of trade barriers across industries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(1), pages 19-39, October.
    16. Nuno Limão & Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "Why is there an Anti-trade Bias in Trade Policy?," International Trade 0310003, EconWPA.
    17. Scott Bradford, 2000. "Rents, Votes, and Protection: Explaining the Structure of Trade Barriers Across Industries," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1717, Econometric Society.
    18. Abdessalem Abbassi & Lota D. Tamini & Ahlem Dakhlaoui, 2013. "Production Cost Asymmetry, Minimum Access and Reciprocal Dumping," Cahiers de recherche CREATE 2013-7, CREATE.
    19. Gulati, Sumeet, 2003. "The Effect Of Free Trade On Pollution Policy And Welfare," Working Papers 15849, University of British Columbia, Food and Resource Economics.
    20. Lima, Rafael Costa & Moreira, Humberto, 2014. "Information transmission and inefficient lobbying," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 282-307.
    21. Baer, Werner & Cavalcanti, Tiago & Silva, Peri, 2002. "Economic integration without policy coordination: the case of Mercosur," Emerging Markets Review, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 269-291, September.
    22. Sajal Lahiri & Peri Silva, 2016. "Potential Pareto-Improving Move Toward Most Favored Nation Tariffs," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 54(2), pages 1086-1104, April.
    23. Facchini, Giovanni & Willmann, Gerald, 2005. "The political economy of international factor mobility," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 201-219, September.
    24. Boccard, Nicolas & Wauthy, Xavier, 2003. "Sales Restriction, Quality Selection and the Mode of Competition," Working Papers of the Department of Economics, University of Girona 5, Department of Economics, University of Girona.
    25. Antoni Estevadeordal, 1999. "Negotiating Preferential Market Access: The Case of NAFTA," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 2567, Inter-American Development Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior

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