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Production-weighted Estimates of Aggregate Protection in Rich Countries toward Developing Countries

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  • David Roodman

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Abstract

A challenge in the development of aggregate indexes of trade protection is finding weights to put on various tariffs that a) reflect their importance to exporters and b) are not endogenous to the protection being measured. One common basis for weights is actual imports; but these, as is well-known, are endogenous. Various authors have worked to correct this endogeneity, but doing so is difficult in product areas where protection is both high and widespread. For this reason, I develop a new set of estimates of overall protection in rich countries with respect to developing ones that eschews import weights as much as possible in favor of weights based on the value of exporter’s total production in each product area. The results are generally much higher than those from the Bouët et al. (2004) “MAcMap” data set; there, weights are based on imports of large reference groups of countries. I conclude that product areas in which protection is high and widespread are systematically de-emphasized when using pure MAcMap weights to aggregate across major product groups. In particular, when gauging rich-country protection with respect to developing countries, agriculture is de-emphasized. I also develop estimates of trade-distorting subsidies by country and commodity and translate these into tariffequivalents with the methodology of Cline (2004) in order to estimate overall protection levels. Agricultural tariffs dominate subsidies in trade-distorting effect, and agricultural protection in turn dominates goods protection generally. Japan is most protective, largely because of rice tariffs near 900%, followed by Norway and Switzerland. Because of their greater reliance on agriculture, the poorest countries face higher trade barriers than wealthier developing countries, despite tariff preferences.

Suggested Citation

  • David Roodman, 2005. "Production-weighted Estimates of Aggregate Protection in Rich Countries toward Developing Countries," Working Papers 66, Center for Global Development.
  • Handle: RePEc:cgd:wpaper:66
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    File URL: http://www.cgdev.org/content/publications/detail/3534
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    2. William R. Cline, 2004. "Trade Policy and Global Poverty," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 379.
    3. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 8(2), pages 151-169, May.
    4. William Cline, 2002. "An Index of Industrial Country Trade Policy Toward Developing Countries," Working Papers 14, Center for Global Development.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas L. Vollrath & Mark J. Gehlhar & Charles B. Hallahan, 2009. "Bilateral Import Protection, Free Trade Agreements, and Other Factors Influencing Trade Flows in Agriculture and Clothing," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(2), pages 298-317.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Doha Round; measuring trade openness; agricultural subsidies;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • H25 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Business Taxes and Subsidies

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