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Do Tariffs Matter for the Extensive Margin of International Trade? An Empirical Analysis

  • Debaere, Peter
  • Mostashari, Shalah
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    Explaining the strong growth of world trade with the relatively moderate tariff reductions since WW II is a quantitative challenge. The trade of new goods resulting from tariff reductions, it has been conjectured, might be the missing link. We investigate this hypothesis with very disaggregate trade and tariff data for US bilateral imports between 1989 and 2000. A probit analysis shows that changing tariffs and tariff preferences influence the extensive margin of countries' exports to the US in a statistically significant way. Tariff reductions give way to new goods' being traded, and tariff preferences reduce the extensive margin of trade for the excluded party. However, while we do find evidence of both trade creation and diversion on the extensive margin, our estimates show that country and industry specific factors are far more important than tariffs in explaining why countries start trading new goods and stop trading others.

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    Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5260.

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    Date of creation: Sep 2005
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    Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5260
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    1. Chang, Won & Winters, L. Alan, 1999. "How Regional Blocs Affect Excluded Countries: The Price Effects of MERCOSUR," CEPR Discussion Papers 2179, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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    4. David Hummels & Peter J. Klenow, 2005. "The Variety and Quality of a Nation's Exports," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 95(3), pages 704-723, June.
    5. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
    6. Elhanan Helpman & Marc Melitz & Yona Rubinstein, 2006. "Trading Partners and Trading Volumes," DEGIT Conference Papers c011_022, DEGIT, Dynamics, Economic Growth, and International Trade.
    7. Hillberry, Russell H. & McDaniel, Christine A., 2002. "A Decomposition of North American Trade Growth since NAFTA," Working Papers 15866, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
    8. Greene, W., 2001. "Fixed and Random Effects in Nonlinear Models," New York University, Leonard N. Stern School Finance Department Working Paper Seires 01-01, New York University, Leonard N. Stern School of Business-.
    9. Anne O. Krueger, 1999. "Trade Creation and Trade Diversion Under NAFTA," NBER Working Papers 7429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
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