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Specific and ad valorem tariffs are not equivalent in trade wars

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  • Lockwood, Ben
  • Wong, Kar-yiu

Abstract

This note argues that when two countries choose optimal tariffs in a trade war, specific tariffs are not equivalent to ad valorem tariffs even if all markets are competitive. In particular, it shows that if a country's trading partener switches a specific tariff to an an valorem tariff that yields the same revenue at the initial trade point, the former country has an incentive to lower its tariffs.
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Suggested Citation

  • Lockwood, Ben & Wong, Kar-yiu, 2000. "Specific and ad valorem tariffs are not equivalent in trade wars," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 183-195, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:52:y:2000:i:1:p:183-195
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. de Meza, David, 1979. "Commercial Policy Towards Multinational Monopolies-Reservations on Katrak," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 334-337, July.
    2. Edward Tower, 1975. "The Optimum Quota and Retaliation," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 42(4), pages 623-630.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jørgensen, Jan G. & Schröder, Philipp J.H., 2008. "Fixed export cost heterogeneity, trade and welfare," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 52(7), pages 1256-1274, October.
    2. Zissimos, Ben, 2007. "The GATT and gradualism," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 410-433, April.
    3. Aiura, Hiroshi & Ogawa, Hikaru, 2013. "Unit tax versus ad valorem tax: A tax competition model with cross-border shopping," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 105(C), pages 30-38.
    4. Amrita Dhillon & Myrna Wooders & Ben Zissimos, 2007. "Tax Competition Reconsidered," Journal of Public Economic Theory, Association for Public Economic Theory, vol. 9(3), pages 391-423, June.
    5. Magnus Hoffmann & Marco Runkel, 2016. "A welfare comparison of ad valorem and unit tax regimes," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 23(1), pages 140-157, February.
    6. Jan Guldager Jørgensen & Philipp J.H. Schröder, 2011. "Welfare Effects of Tariff Reduction Formulas," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 664-673, September.
    7. Susanna Thede, 2005. "Trade policy formation when geography matters for specialisation," Working Papers 200519, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
    8. Jørgensen Jan Guldager & Schröder Philipp J. H., 2006. "Tariffs and Firm-Level Heterogeneous Fixed Export Costs," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 5(1), pages 1-17, July.
    9. Koethenbuerger, Marko, 2014. "Competition for migrants in a federation: Tax or transfer competition?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(C), pages 110-118.
    10. Larue, Bruno & Kotchoni, Rachidi & Pouliot, Sébastien, 2013. "Non-Equivalent Ad Valorem Equivalents and Gravity," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150471, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    11. Junichi Haraguchi & Hikaru Ogawa, 2016. "Leadership in Tax Ccompetition with Fiscal Equalization Transfers ," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-1031, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    12. Jan Jørgensen & Philipp Schröder, 2007. "Effects of Tariffication: Tariffs and Quotas under Monopolistic Competition," Open Economies Review, Springer, vol. 18(4), pages 479-498, September.
    13. Nobuo Akai & Hikaru Ogawa & Yoshitomo Ogawa, 2011. "Endogenous choice on tax instruments in a tax competition model: unit tax versus ad valorem tax," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 18(5), pages 495-506, October.
    14. Jan G. Jorgensen & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2002. "Effects of Tariffication: Tariffs, Quotas and VERs under Monopolistic Competition," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 269, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    15. Yoshitomo Ogawa, 2012. "The structure of Nash equilibrium tariffs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(1), pages 139-161, September.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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