Why did the Tariff--Growth Correlation Change after 1950?
This article uses a new database to establish a key finding: high tariffs were associated with fast growth before World War II, while they have been associated with slow growth thereafter. The paper offers explanations for the sign switch by controlling for novel measures of the changing world economic environment. Rejecting alternative explanations based on changing export market growth or transportation cost declines, it shows how the modern negative correlation could be reversed in a world environment characterized by a moderately higher generalized tariff protection such as that which prevailed before 1914. We show that an increase in average tariff rates among trading partners by just one third might suffice to reverse any negative relationship between an average country's tariffs and its growth. An increase in own tariffs after 1950 hurt or at least didn't help growth, but it might have helped growth in a world where average trading partners' tariffs were moderately higher and retaliation was the best strategy. The world environment matters. Leader-country reaction to big world events matters.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:kap:jecgro:v:9:y:2004:i:1:p:5-46. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Guenther Eichhorn)or (Christopher F. Baum)
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.