IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/inecon/v94y2014i1p50-66.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence

Author

Listed:
  • Handley, Kyle

Abstract

I provide novel evidence for the impact of trade policy uncertainty on exporters. In a dynamic, heterogeneous firms model, trade policy uncertainty will delay the entry of exporters into new markets and make them less responsive to applied tariff reductions. Policy instruments that reduce or eliminate uncertainty, such as binding trade policy commitments at the WTO, increase entry. The predictions are tested on disaggregated, product-level Australian imports with model-consistent measures of uncertainty. The estimates show that growth of exporter–product varieties would have been 7% lower between 1993 and 2001 without the binding commitments implemented after the WTO was formed in 1996. If Australia reduced all its tariffs and bindings to zero, more than half of predicted product growth is accounted by removing uncertainty. These results illuminate and quantify an important new channel for trade creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:94:y:2014:i:1:p:50-66
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jinteco.2014.05.005
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S002219961400083X
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    File URL: https://libkey.io/10.1016/j.jinteco.2014.05.005?utm_source=ideas
    LibKey link: if access is restricted and if your library uses this service, LibKey will redirect you to where you can use your library subscription to access this item
    ---><---

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    2. Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Policy uncertainty and private investment in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 36(2), pages 229-242, October.
    3. Santos Silva, J.M.C. & Tenreyro, Silvana & Wei, Kehai, 2014. "Estimating the extensive margin of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 93(1), pages 67-75.
    4. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    5. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1707-1721, September.
    6. Nick Bloom, 2007. "Uncertainty and the Dynamics of R&D," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 250-255, May.
    7. Hassett, Kevin A & Metcalf, Gilbert E, 1999. "Investment with Uncertain Tax Policy: Does Random Tax Policy Discourage Investment?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 109(457), pages 372-393, July.
    8. Tang, Man-Keung & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2009. "The value of making commitments externally: Evidence from WTO accessions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 216-229, July.
    9. George Alessandria & Horag Choi, 2007. "Do Sunk Costs of Exporting Matter for Net Export Dynamics?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 122(1), pages 289-336.
    10. Andrew K. Rose, 2004. "Do We Really Know That the WTO Increases Trade?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 98-114, March.
    11. Aizenman, Joshua & Marion, Nancy P, 1993. "Policy Uncertainty, Persistence and Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(2), pages 145-163, June.
    12. Campa, Jose Manuel, 2004. "Exchange rates and trade: How important is hysteresis in trade?," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 527-548, June.
    13. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
    14. Nuno Limão & Giovanni Maggi, 2018. "Uncertainty and Trade Agreements," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 3, pages 47-88, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    15. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358-392.
    16. Davide Sala & Philipp J. H. Schröder & Erdal Yalcin, 2010. "Market Access Through Bound Tariffs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(3), pages 272-289, July.
    17. Buono, Ines & Lalanne, Guy, 2012. "The effect of the Uruguay round on the intensive and extensive margins of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 86(2), pages 269-283.
    18. Beshkar, Mostafa & Bond, Eric W. & Rho, Youngwoo, 2015. "Tariff binding and overhang: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 97(1), pages 1-13.
    19. Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1997. "Regional Trading Blocs in the World Economic System," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 72, January.
    20. Roc Armenter & Mikl?s Koren, 2014. "A Balls-and-Bins Model of Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(7), pages 2127-2151, July.
    21. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2013. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S," NBER Working Papers 19376, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Scott L. Baier & Jeffrey H. Bergstrand & Erika Vidal, 2007. "Free Trade Agreements In the Americas: Are the Trade Effects Larger than Anticipated?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(9), pages 1347-1377, September.
    23. Justin R. Pierce & Peter K. Schott, 2009. "A Concordance Between Ten-Digit U.S. Harmonized System Codes and SIC/NAICS Product Classes and Industries," NBER Working Papers 15548, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
    25. Nick Bloom & Stephen Bond & John Van Reenen, 2007. "Uncertainty and Investment Dynamics," The Review of Economic Studies, Review of Economic Studies Ltd, vol. 74(2), pages 391-415.
    26. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 2-16, January.
    27. Francois, Joseph F. & Martin, Will, 2004. "Commercial policy variability, bindings, and market access," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 665-679, June.
    28. Richard Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1989. "Persistent Trade Effects of Large Exchange Rate Shocks," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 104(4), pages 635-654.
    29. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 4, pages 89-122, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    30. Mohamed Hedi Bchir & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2006. "Binding Overhang and Tariff-Cutting Formulas," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 142(2), pages 207-232, July.
    31. Subramanian, Arvind & Wei, Shang-Jin, 2007. "The WTO promotes trade, strongly but unevenly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 151-175, May.
    32. Dixit, Avinash K, 1989. "Entry and Exit Decisions under Uncertainty," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(3), pages 620-638, June.
    33. Sanghamitra Das & Mark J. Roberts & James R. Tybout, 2007. "Market Entry Costs, Producer Heterogeneity, and Export Dynamics," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(3), pages 837-873, May.
    34. Magee Christopher S, 2003. "Endogenous Preferential Trade Agreements: An Empirical Analysis," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 2(1), pages 1-19, December.
    35. Commission, Productivity, 2010. "Bilateral and Regional Trade Agreements," Research Reports, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia, number 43.
    36. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
    37. Simon J. Evenett, 2007. "Reciprocity and the Doha Round Impasse: Lessons for the Near Term and After," Aussenwirtschaft, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, Swiss Institute for International Economics and Applied Economics Research, vol. 62(04), pages 391-415, December.
    38. Douglas C. Lippoldt, 2006. "The Australian Preferential Tariff Regime," OECD Trade Policy Papers 33, OECD Publishing.
    39. J. M. C. Santos Silva & Silvana Tenreyro, 2006. "The Log of Gravity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 641-658, November.
    40. Ben S. Bernanke, 1983. "Irreversibility, Uncertainty, and Cyclical Investment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 98(1), pages 85-106.
    41. Douglas A. Irwin, 1993. "The GATT's contribution to economic recovery in post-war Western Europe," International Finance Discussion Papers 442, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    42. Justin Pierce & Peter Schott, 2009. "Concording U.S. Harmonized System Categories Over Time," Working Papers 09-11, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    43. repec:hal:wpspec:info:hdl:2441/8241 is not listed on IDEAS
    44. Jonathan Eaton, Marcela Eslava, Maurice Kugler,James Tybout, 1970. "Export Dynamics in Colombia: Firm-Level Evidence," Working Papers eg0036, Wilfrid Laurier University, Department of Economics, revised 1970.
    45. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2008. "Estimating Trade Flows: Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 123(2), pages 441-487.
    46. Kehoe, Timothy J., 2002. "An Evaluation of the Performance of Applied General Equilibrium Models of the Impact of NAFTA," Conference papers 331066, Purdue University, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Global Trade Analysis Project.
    47. Arvind Subramanian & Aaditya Mattoo, 2008. "Multilateralism Beyond Doha," Working Papers 153, Center for Global Development.
    48. Johnson, Simon & Kouvelis, Panos & Sinha, Vikas, 1997. "On Reform Intensity under Uncertainty," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 297-321, December.
    49. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
    50. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/6apm7lruv088iagm4rv2c33jtg is not listed on IDEAS
    51. Davide Sala & Philipp J. H. Schröder & Erdal Yalcin, 2010. "Market Access Through Bound Tariffs," Scottish Journal of Political Economy, Scottish Economic Society, vol. 57(s1), pages 272-289, July.
    52. W. Max Corden, 1996. "Protection and Liberalisation in Australia and Abroad," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 29(2), pages 141-154, April.
    53. Thomas Chaney, 2008. "Distorted Gravity: The Intensive and Extensive Margins of International Trade," Post-Print hal-03579844, HAL.
    54. Hummels, David & Ishii, Jun & Yi, Kei-Mu, 2001. "The nature and growth of vertical specialization in world trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 75-96, June.
    55. Richard Pomfret & Uwe Kaufmann & Christopher Findlay, 2010. "Are Preferential Tariffs Utilized? Evidence from Australian Imports, 2000-9," School of Economics and Public Policy Working Papers 2010-13, University of Adelaide, School of Economics and Public Policy.
    56. Kim J. Ruhl, 2008. "The International Elasticity Puzzle," Working Papers 08-30, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    57. Kevin A. Hassett, 1999. "Tax Policy and Investment," Books, American Enterprise Institute, number 53049, September.
    58. Roberts, Mark J & Tybout, James R, 1997. "The Decision to Export in Colombia: An Empirical Model of Entry with Sunk Costs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 545-564, September.
    59. repec:hal:spmain:info:hdl:2441/8241 is not listed on IDEAS
    60. Manuel Amador & Kyle Bagwell, 2013. "The Theory of Optimal Delegation With an Application to Tariff Caps," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(4), pages 1541-1599, July.
    61. Debaere, Peter & Mostashari, Shalah, 2010. "Do tariffs matter for the extensive margin of international trade? An empirical analysis," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(2), pages 163-169, July.
    62. William Greene, 2002. "The Behavior of the Fixed Effects Estimator in Nonlinear Models," Working Papers 02-05, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business, Department of Economics.
    63. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2007. "Do free trade agreements actually increase members' international trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 72-95, March.
    64. Kehoe,Timothy J. & Srinivasan,T. N. & Whalley,John (ed.), 2005. "Frontiers in Applied General Equilibrium Modeling," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521825252, November.
    65. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
    66. Patrick Messerlin, 2008. "Walking a Tightrope: World Trade in Manufacturing and the Benefits of Binding," Working Papers hal-00973101, HAL.
    67. Peter Lloyd, 2008. "100 Years Of Tariff Protection In Australia," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 48(2), pages 99-145, July.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 4, pages 89-122, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Nuno Limão, 2016. "Preferential Trade Agreements," NBER Working Papers 22138, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Limão, Nuno & Handley, Kyle, 2013. "Policy Uncertainty, Trade and Welfare: Theory and Evidence for China and the U.S," CEPR Discussion Papers 9615, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Emanuel Ornelas, 2016. "Special and Differential Treatment for Developing Countries," CESifo Working Paper Series 5823, CESifo.
    5. Roc Armenter & Miklós Koren, 2015. "Economies Of Scale And The Size Of Exporters," Journal of the European Economic Association, European Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 482-511, June.
    6. Carballo, Jeronimo & Handley, Kyle & Limão, Nuno, 2022. "Economic and policy uncertainty: Aggregate export dynamics and the value of agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 139(C).
    7. Dutt, Pushan & Mihov, Ilian & Van Zandt, Timothy, 2013. "The effect of WTO on the extensive and the intensive margins of trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(2), pages 204-219.
    8. Rod Falvey & Neil Foster-McGregor, 2022. "The breadth of preferential trade agreements and the margins of exports," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 158(1), pages 181-251, February.
    9. Anne-Célia Disdier & Lionel Fontagné & Mondher Mimouni, 2015. "Tariff Liberalization and Trade Integration of Emerging Countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(5), pages 946-971, November.
    10. Lee, Hyun-Hoon & Park, Donghyun & Wang, Jing, 2013. "Different types of firms, different types of products, and their dynamics: An anatomy of China's imports," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 25(C), pages 62-77.
    11. Balistreri, Edward J. & Hillberry, Russell H. & Rutherford, Thomas F., 2011. "Structural estimation and solution of international trade models with heterogeneous firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 83(2), pages 95-108, March.
    12. Anca D. Cristea & Anna Miromanova, 2022. "Firm‐level trade effects of WTO accession: Evidence from Russia," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 237-281, February.
    13. Melitz, Marc J. & Redding, Stephen J., 2014. "Heterogeneous Firms and Trade," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 1-54, Elsevier.
    14. Lota D. Tamini & Maurice Doyon & Rodrigue Simon, 2016. "Analyzing Trade Liberalization Effects in the Egg Sector Using a Dynamic Gravity Model," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 64(2), pages 383-411, June.
    15. Atika Benaddi & Peri Silva, 2021. "Trade policy uncertainty: Evidence from the Arab League countries," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 1327-1357, November.
    16. Maggi, Giovanni, 2014. "International Trade Agreements," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 317-390, Elsevier.
    17. Dick Nuwamanya Kamuganga, 2012. "The Linkage between Outcome Differences in Cotton Production and Rural Roads Improvements - A Matching Approach," IHEID Working Papers 15-2012, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    18. repec:hal:pseose:hal-01299753 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Alessandria, George & Choi, Horag, 2014. "Do falling iceberg costs explain recent U.S. export growth?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 311-325.
    20. Head, Keith & Mayer, Thierry, 2014. "Gravity Equations: Workhorse,Toolkit, and Cookbook," Handbook of International Economics, in: Gopinath, G. & Helpman, . & Rogoff, K. (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 0, pages 131-195, Elsevier.
    21. Gnangnon, Sèna Kimm, 2022. "Duration of WTO Membership and Investment-Oriented Remittances Flows," EconStor Preprints 251274, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Policy uncertainty; Trade; World Trade Organization; Bindings;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F4 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:inecon:v:94:y:2014:i:1:p:50-66. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: Catherine Liu (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505552 .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.