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The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy

  • J Anderson
  • J.P. Neary

This paper develops and characterises an index of trade policy restrictiveness defined as the uniform tariff equivalent which maintains the same volume of trade as a given set of tariffs, quotas, and domestic taxes and subsidies. We relate this volume-equivalent index to the Trade Restrictiveness Index, a welfare-equivalent measure, and relate changes in both indexes to changes in the generalised mean and variance of the tariff schedule. Applications to international cross-section and time-series comparisons of trade policy show that the new index frequently gives a very different picture than do standard indexes.

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File URL: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/pubs/download/DP0413.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Economic Performance, LSE in its series CEP Discussion Papers with number dp0413.

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Date of creation: Nov 1998
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Handle: RePEc:cep:cepdps:dp0413
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://cep.lse.ac.uk/_new/publications/series.asp?prog=CEP

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  1. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Anderson, James E., 1992. "Tariff index theory," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1023, The World Bank.
  3. Robert C. Feenstra, 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5051, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1994. "Technology and Trade," Papers 175, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  5. Randi Boorstein & Robert C. Feenstra, 1987. "Quality Upgrading and its Welfare Cost in U.S. Steel Imports, 1969-74," NBER Working Papers 2452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Anderson, J.E., 1998. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," Papers 98/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  7. Aw, Bee Yan & Roberts, Mark J., 1986. "Measuring quality change in quota-constrained import markets: The Case of U.S. Footwear," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 45-60, August.
  8. Neary, J. P., 1997. "Pitfalls in the Theory of International Trade Policy: Concertina Reforms of Tariffs, and Subsidies to High-Technology Industries," Papers 97/26, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  9. Anderson, James E & Bannister, Geoffrey J & Neary, J Peter, 1995. "Domestic Distortions and International Trade," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 36(1), pages 139-57, February.
  10. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  11. David Cox & Richard Harris, 1983. "Trade Liberalization and Industrial Organization: Some Estimates for Canada," Working Papers 523, Queen's University, Department of Economics.
  12. Neary, J Peter & Schweinberger, Albert G, 1986. "Factor Content Functions and the Theory of International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(3), pages 421-32, July.
  13. Pritchett, Lant & Sethi, Geeta, 1994. "Tariff Rates, Tariff Revenue, and Tariff Reform: Some New Facts," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(1), pages 1-16, January.
  14. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 107-25, January.
  15. Michael D. Bordo & Barry Eichengreen & Douglas A. Irwin, 1999. "Is Globalization Today Really Different than Globalization a Hunderd Years Ago?," NBER Working Papers 7195, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. J. P. Neary (ed.), 1995. "International Trade," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 575.
  17. James Anderson, 1995. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 290., Boston College Department of Economics.
  18. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
  19. O'Rourke, Kevin H., 1997. "Measuring protection: a cautionary tale," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 169-183, June.
  20. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
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