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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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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 01 Aug 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:601
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  1. Bruno, Michael, 1972. "Market Distortions and Gradual Reform," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 373-83, July.
  2. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2003. "Formula Approaches for Market Access Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1999. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 6870, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Neary, J Peter, 1997. "Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs and Subsidies to HIgh-Technology Industries," CEPR Discussion Papers 1740, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Hiau Looi Kee & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import demand elasticities and trade distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3452, The World Bank.
  6. Anderson, James E, 1995. "Tariff-Index Theory," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 156-73, June.
  7. 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.
  8. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2002. "Commercial Policy Variability, Bindings and Market Access," CEPR Discussion Papers 3294, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. J Anderson & J.P. Neary, 1993. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0173, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  10. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  11. Feenstra, R.C., 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," Papers 95-10, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  12. Diewert, W E & Turunen-Red, A H & Woodland, A D, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215, April.
  13. Foster, Edward & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1970. "Price Distortion and Economic Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 281-97, March.
  14. Neary, J Peter, 1989. "Trade Liberalization and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," CEPR Discussion Papers 345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
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