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Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff

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  • Panagariya, Arvind
  • Rodrik, Dani

Abstract

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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  • Panagariya, Arvind & Rodrik, Dani, 1993. "Political-Economy Arguments for a Uniform Tariff," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(3), pages 685-703, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:ier:iecrev:v:34:y:1993:i:3:p:685-703
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