Did US safeguards resuscitate Harley-Davidson in the 1980s?
This paper examines US safeguards applied to the motorcycle market in the 1980s. After receiving temporary protection by means of a maximum tariff of over 45%, Harley-Davidson sales recovered dramatically. Simulations, based on structural demand and supply estimates, indicate that while safeguard tariffs did benefit Harley-Davidson, they only account for a fraction of its increased sales. This is primarily because consumers perceived that Harley-Davidson and Japanese large motorcycles were poorly matched substitutes for each other. Our results provide little evidence that safeguard provisions triggered restructuring in Harley-Davidson.
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