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Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff

  • Panagariya, Arvind
  • Rodrik, Dani

We consider three political-economy arguments in favor of a uniform tariff rule (UTR). First, if tariffs are determined by lobbying, adoption of a UTR creates a free-rider problem. A tariff resulting from lobbying by one sector becomes available to all other sectors. This reduces incentive for lobbying. Second, if there are imported inputs which are used by import-competing sectors, a UTR leads to a lower level of lobbying. Finally, a UTR may tie the hands of a future government expected to favor certain sectors over others, and enhance welfare ex ante. None of these presents an air-tight case for uniformity. Copyright 1993 by Economics Department of the University of Pennsylvania and the Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association.

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Article provided by Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association in its journal International Economic Review.

Volume (Year): 34 (1993)
Issue (Month): 3 (August)
Pages: 685-703

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Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:34:y:1993:i:3:p:685-703
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  1. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521377003 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Richard E. Caves, 1976. "Economic Models of Political Choice: Canada's Tariff Structure," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 9(2), pages 278-300, May.
  3. Heinrich W. Ursprung, 1990. "Public Goods, Rent Dissipation, And Candidate Competition," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 2(2), pages 115-132, 07.
  4. Panagariya, Arvind, 1992. "Input tariffs, duty drawbacks, and tariff reforms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(1-2), pages 131-147, February.
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  6. W. M. Corden, 1958. "Import Restrictions And Triffs:A New Look At Australian Policy," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 34(69), pages 331-346, December.
  7. Schuknecht, Ludger & Ursprung, Heinrich W., 1990. "Die Anti-Dumping-Politik der EG und der USA: Ein Vergleich aus der Sicht der neuen politischen ├ľkonomie," Discussion Papers, Series II 98, University of Konstanz, Collaborative Research Centre (SFB) 178 "Internationalization of the Economy".
  8. Panagariya, Arvind, 1990. "How should tariffs be structured?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 353, The World Bank.
  9. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  10. Balassa, Bela, 1989. "Tariff policy and taxation in developing countries," Policy Research Working Paper Series 281, The World Bank.
  11. Rodrik, Dani, 1986. "Tariffs, subsidies, and welfare with endogenous policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 285-299, November.
  12. Brock, William A & Magee, Stephen P, 1978. "The Economics of Special Interest Politics: The Case of the Tariff," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 68(2), pages 246-50, May.
  13. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Bhagwati, Jagdish N, 1982. "Directly Unproductive, Profit-seeking (DUP) Activities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 90(5), pages 988-1002, October.
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