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Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications


  • Bussière, M.
  • Pérez-Barreiro, E.
  • Straub, R.
  • Taglioni, D.


In this paper we take a systematic look at recent trends in global protectionism and at the potential implications of a protectionist backlash for economic growth, using results from the recent economic literature and new model simulations. We find that there has so far been a moderate increase in actual protectionist measures to restrict trade through tariff and non-tariff barriers. At the same time, evidence from surveys shows that public pressure for more economic protection has been mounting since the mid-2000s, and has possibly intensified since the start of the financial crisis. However, no World Trade Organization (WTO) member has retreated into widespread trade restrictions or protectionism to date. Our model-based simulations suggest that the impairment of the global flow of trade would hamper the recovery from the crisis, as well as the long-term growth of the global economy. At the same time, it is unlikely that protectionism would help to correct existing current account imbalances. Moreover, the countries implementing protectionist measures should expect a deterioration of their international competitiveness, which would further affect the potential for longer-term real GDP growth.

Suggested Citation

  • Bussière, M. & Pérez-Barreiro, E. & Straub, R. & Taglioni, D., 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications," Working papers 319, Banque de France.
  • Handle: RePEc:bfr:banfra:319

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    Cited by:

    1. Cristian Spiridon, 2012. "Trade Liberalisation In Europe And The Rest Of The World," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 4(3), pages 407-418, September.
    2. Sturm, Michael & Sauter, Nicolas, 2010. "The impact of the global financial turmoil and recession on Mediterranean countries’ economies," Occasional Paper Series 118, European Central Bank.
    3. di Mauro, Filippo & Forster, Katrin & Lima, Ana, 2010. "The global downturn and its impact on euro area exports and competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 119, European Central Bank.
    4. Bown, Chad P. & Crowley, Meredith A., 2014. "Emerging economies, trade policy, and macroeconomic shocks," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 111(C), pages 261-273.
    5. Stolz, Stéphanie Marie & Wedow, Michael, 2010. "Extraordinary measures in extraordinary times – Public measures in support of the financial sector in the EU and the United States," Occasional Paper Series 117, European Central Bank.
    6. Bricongne, Jean-Charles & Fontagné, Lionel & Gaulier, Guillaume & Taglioni, Daria & Vicard, Vincent, 2010. "Exports and sectoral financial dependence: evidence on French firms during the great global crisis," Working Paper Series 1227, European Central Bank.
    7. Raul Caruso, 2015. "Beyond deterrence and decline. Towards a general understanding of peace economics," Rivista Internazionale di Scienze Sociali, Vita e Pensiero, Pubblicazioni dell'Universita' Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, vol. 128(1), pages 57-74.
    8. Hess, Patrick, 2010. "Securities clearing and settlement in China: markets, infrastructures and policy-making," Occasional Paper Series 116, European Central Bank.
    9. repec:wsi:jicepx:v:01:y:2010:i:02:n:s1793993310000111 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Matthieu Bussière & Emilia Pérez‐Barreiro & Roland Straub & Daria Taglioni, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis: Global Trends and Implications," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 34, pages 826-852, May.
    11. Rob Gregory & Christian Henn & Brad Mcdonald & Mika Saito, 2010. "Trade And The Crisis: Protect Or Recover," Journal of International Commerce, Economics and Policy (JICEP), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 1(02), pages 165-181.
    12. Gardó, Sándor & Martin, Reiner, 2010. "The impact of the global economic and financial crisis on central, eastern and south-eastern Europe: A stock-taking exercise," Occasional Paper Series 114, European Central Bank.
    13. Cristian Spiridon, 2013. "Between Nationalism And The Flat World Of Thomas Friedman," CES Working Papers, Centre for European Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, vol. 5(4), pages 600-614, December.
    14. An IRC expert group of the ESCB, 2010. "Financial stability challenges in EU candidate countries - Financial systems in the aftermath of the global crisis," Occasional Paper Series 115, European Central Bank.
    15. Brad J. McDonald & Christian Henn, 2011. "Protectionist Responses to the Crisis; Damage Observed in Product-Level Trade," IMF Working Papers 11/139, International Monetary Fund.
    16. Bodea, Cristina & Huemer, Stefan, 2010. "Dancing together at arm’s length? – The interaction of central banks with governments in the G7," Occasional Paper Series 120, European Central Bank.
    17. repec:imf:imfwpa:11/139:99 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Holm-Hadulla, Fédéric & Kamath, Kishore & Lamo, Ana & Pérez, Javier J. & Schuknecht, Ludger, 2010. "Public wages in the euro area - towards securing stability and competitiveness," Occasional Paper Series 112, European Central Bank.
    19. Chauvin, Nicolas Depetris & Ramos, Maria Priscila, 2013. "The welfare effect of the new wave of protectionism: The case of Argentina," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 151626, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    20. Task Force of the Monetary Policy Committee of the ESCB, 2010. "Energy markets and the euro area macroeconomy," Occasional Paper Series 113, European Central Bank.
    21. Cristian SPIRIDON, 2012. "World Trade Liberalisation Since The Xixth Century Up To Date," Review of Economic and Business Studies, Alexandru Ioan Cuza University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, issue 9, pages 205-216, June.
    22. Beirne, John & Dalitz, Lars & Ejsing, Jacob & Grothe, Magdalena & Manganelli, Simone & Monar, Fernando & Sahel, Benjamin & Sušec, Matjaž & Tapking, Jens & Vong, Tana, 2011. "The impact of the Eurosystem's covered bond purchase programme on the primary and secondary markets," Occasional Paper Series 122, European Central Bank.
    23. Demeter, Krisztina, 2014. "Operating internationally—The impact on operational performance improvement," International Journal of Production Economics, Elsevier, vol. 149(C), pages 172-182.
    24. repec:imf:imfwpa:11/139:9 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Protectionism ; trade ; financial crisis ; competitiveness ; World Trade Organization ; global imbalances.;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F21 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business - - - International Investment; Long-Term Capital Movements
    • F53 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Agreements and Observance; International Organizations

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