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Tariff wars in the Ricardian Model with a continuum of goods

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  • Opp, Marcus M.

Abstract

This paper describes strategic tariff choices within the Ricardian framework of Dornbusch, Fischer, and Samuelson (1977) using CES preferences. The optimum tariff schedule is uniform across goods and inversely related to the import demand elasticity of the other country. In the Nash equilibrium of tariffs, larger economies apply higher tariff rates. Productivity adjusted relative size ([approximate]Â GDP ratio) is a sufficient statistic for absolute productivity advantage and the size of the labor force. Both countries apply higher tariff rates if specialization gains from comparative advantage are high and transportation cost is low. A sufficiently large economy prefers the inefficient Nash equilibrium in tariffs over free trade due to its quasi-monopolistic power on world markets. The required threshold size is increasing in comparative advantage and decreasing in transportation cost. I discuss the implications of the static Nash-equilibrium analysis for the sustainability and structure of trade agreements.

Suggested Citation

  • Opp, Marcus M., 2010. "Tariff wars in the Ricardian Model with a continuum of goods," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 212-225, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:80:y:2010:i:2:p:212-225
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. NAITO Takumi, 2017. "A Larger Country Sets a Lower Optimal Tariff," Discussion papers 17037, Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry (RIETI).
    2. Opp, Marcus M. & Parlour, Christine A. & Walden, Johan, 2014. "Markup cycles, dynamic misallocation, and amplification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 154(C), pages 126-161.
    3. Cecilia Bellora & Jean-Marc Bourgeon, 2014. "Agricultural Trade, Biodiversity Effects and Food Price Volatility," Working Papers hal-00969083, HAL.
    4. Leonid V. Azarnert, 2016. "Trade, Luxury Goods and a Growth Enhancing Tariff," CESifo Working Paper Series 5943, CESifo Group Munich.
    5. Arnaud Costinot & Dave Donaldson & Jonathan Vogel & Iván Werning, 2015. "Comparative Advantage and Optimal Trade Policy," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 130(2), pages 659-702.
    6. Roy J. Ruffin, 2014. "Nontraded Goods and Real Exchange Rates in a Multi-Good Ricardian Model," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 105-115, February.
    7. Takumi Naito, 2016. "Aid for Trade and Global Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(5), pages 1178-1201, November.
    8. Feng Dai & Songtao Wu & Ling Liang & Zifu Qin, 2016. "Bilateral Trade under Environmental Pressure: Balanced Growth," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 16(2), pages 209-231, June.

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