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Welfare versus Market Access: The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform

  • James E. Anderson

    ()

    (Boston College)

  • J. Peter Neary

    (University College Dublin)

We show that the effects of tariff changes on welfare and import volume can be fully characterised by their effects on the generalised mean and variance of the tariff distribution. Using these tools, we derive new results for welfare- and market-access-improving tariff changes, which imply two "cones of liberalisation" in price space. Because welfare is negatively but import volume positively related to the generalised variance, the cones do not intersect, which poses a dilemma for trade policy reform. Finally, we show that generalised and trade-weighted moments are mutually proportional when the trade expenditure function is CES.

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Paper provided by Boston College Department of Economics in its series Boston College Working Papers in Economics with number 601.

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Date of creation: 01 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:601
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  1. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  2. Kee, Hiau Looi & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 4669, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. J.P. Neary, 1997. "Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs and Subsidies to High Technology Industries," CEP Discussion Papers dp0346, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Joseph Francois & Will Martin, 2003. "Formula Approaches for Market Access Negotiations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-28, January.
  5. Foster, Edward & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1970. "Price Distortion and Economic Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 281-97, March.
  6. Feenstra, R.C., 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," Department of Economics 95-10, California Davis - Department of Economics.
  7. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2002. "Commercial Policy Variability, Bindings and Market Access," CEPR Discussion Papers 3294, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Ju, Jiandong & Krishna, Kala, 2000. "Welfare and market access effects of piecemeal tariff reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-316, August.
  9. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1991. "A new approach to evaluating trade policy," Working Papers 199105, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  10. Fukushima, Takashi, 1979. "Tariff Structure, Nontraded Goods and Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 427-35, June.
  11. Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Trade Liberalisation and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(3), pages 531-54, August.
  12. Anderson, James E., 1992. "Tariff index theory," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1023, The World Bank.
  13. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2001. "The mercantilist index of trade policy," Working Papers 199813, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  14. Tatsuo Hatta, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21.
  15. W. E. Diewert & A. H. Turunen-Red & A. D. Woodland, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215.
  16. Michael Bruno, 1972. "Market Distortions and Gradual Reform," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 373-383.
  17. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
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