The economics of rules of origin
Rules of origin of free trade arrangements limit the use of inputs from outside the preferential trade zone. A government negotiating a future FTAcan manipulate these rules in order to achieve national welfare objectives. The correct definition of rules of origin may help to enhance demand for domestically produced goods, promote national technological development, and maximize labour income. This paper proves that a more stringent rule of origin implies an increase of demand for the domestic factor if the substitution effect prevails over the effects caused by the decrease of the scale of operation in the domestic plant, and the reallocation of output between domestic and foreign plants. We further show that policy decisions regarding rules of origin that intertemporally maximize welfare and foster domestic technological evolution should be made at the greatest level of disaggregation that is feasible.
Volume (Year): 9 (2001)
Issue (Month): 4 ()
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