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The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions

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  • Ian Parry

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Abstract

This paper uses a numerical general equilibrium model to examine the quantitative importance of pre-existing factor tax distortions for the welfare effects of tariffs and import quotas. The presence of pre-existing taxes can greatly raise the costs of these policies, possibly by over several hundred percent. For a tariff much of this extra cost can be offset if tariff revenues are used to reduce distortionary taxes. Hence there can be a large cost discrepancy between tariffs and quotas. The optimal tariff for a country with market power in trade can be reduced to zero, unless revenues finance cuts in distortionary taxes. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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  • Ian Parry, 2001. "The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 147-170, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:itaxpf:v:8:y:2001:i:2:p:147-170
    DOI: 10.1023/A:1011268619072
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    1. Ian Parry, 2001. "The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 147-170, March.
    2. Williams III, Roberton C., 1999. "Revisiting the cost of protectionism:: The role of tax distortions in the labor market," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 47(2), pages 429-447, April.
    3. Siebert, Horst, 1997. "Labor market rigidities and unemployment in Europe," Kiel Working Papers 787, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
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    5. Deaton, Angus, 1981. "Optimal Taxes and the Structure of Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(5), pages 1245-1260, September.
    6. Parry, Ian W. H. & Williams, Roberton III & Goulder, Lawrence H., 1999. "When Can Carbon Abatement Policies Increase Welfare? The Fundamental Role of Distorted Factor Markets," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 52-84, January.
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    11. Parry, Ian W. H., 1997. "Environmental taxes and quotas in the presence of distorting taxes in factor markets," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 203-220, August.
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    14. Parry, Ian & Oates, Wallace, 1998. "Policy Analysis in a Second-Best World," Discussion Papers dp-98-48, Resources For the Future.
    15. Browning, Edgar K, 1987. "On the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(1), pages 11-23, March.
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    19. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-138, March.
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    21. Ian W.H. Parry & Wallace E. Oates, 2000. "Policy analysis in the presence of distorting taxes," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 19(4), pages 603-613.
    22. Lawrence H. Goulder & Ian W. H. Parry & Dallas Burtraw, 1996. "Revenue-Raising vs. Other Approaches to Environmental Protection: The Critical Significance of Pre-Existing Tax Distortions," NBER Working Papers 5641, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Parry, Ian & Oates, Wallace, 1998. "Policy Analysis in a Second-Best World," Discussion Papers dp-98-48, Resources For the Future.
    2. Ian Parry, 2001. "The Costs of Restrictive Trade Policies in the Presence of Factor Tax Distortions," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 8(2), pages 147-170, March.
    3. Anton Orlov & Harald Grethe, 2012. "Carbon Taxation in Russia: Relevance of Export Taxes on Energy Resources," EcoMod2012 4117, EcoMod.
    4. Ian Parry, 2002. "Tax Deductions and the Marginal Welfare Cost of Taxation," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 9(5), pages 531-552, September.
    5. Wu, Jun & Li, Shaomin & Samsell, Darryl, 2012. "Why some countries trade more, some trade less, some trade almost nothing: The effect of the governance environment on trade flows," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 225-238.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    pre-existing tax distortions; tariffs; import quotas; welfare costs;

    JEL classification:

    • L11 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Production, Pricing, and Market Structure; Size Distribution of Firms
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L68 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Appliances; Furniture; Other Consumer Durables

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