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Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices

  • Kee, Hiau Looi
  • Nicita, Alessandro
  • Olarreaga, Marcelo

The objective of this paper is to provide indicators of trade restrictiveness that include both measures of tariff and non-tariff barriers for 91 developing and developed countries. For each country, we estimate three trade restrictiveness indices. The first one captures the extent to which trade policies at home affect domestic welfare. This follows the work of Anderson and Neary (1992, 1994 and 1996). The second index captures the impact of trade distortions on each country’s import bundle. This follows the work of Anderson and Neary (2003). The last index focuses on market access and summarizes the trade distortions imposed by the rest of the world on each country’s export bundle. All indices are estimated for the broad aggregates of manufacturing and agriculture products. Results suggest that poor countries (and those with the highest poverty headcount) tend to be more restrictive, but they also face the highest trade barriers on their export bundle. This is partly explained by the fact that agriculture protection is generally larger than manufacturing protection. NTBs contribute more than 70 percent on average to world protection, underlying their importance for any study on trade protection.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5576.

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Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5576
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  1. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1998. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 416, Boston College Department of Economics.
  2. James Harrigan, 1996. "Technology, factor supplies, and international specialization: estimating the neoclassical model," Staff Reports 15, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  3. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2004. "Welfare versus market access : the implications of tariff structure for tariff reform," Working Papers 200423, School of Economics, University College Dublin.
  4. Feenstra, R.C., 1995. "Estimating the Effects of Trade Policy," Papers 95-10, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  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. J Anderson & J.P. Neary, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0186, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  7. Jong-Wha Lee & Phillip Swagel, 2000. "Trade Barriers And Trade Flows Across Countries And Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(3), pages 372-382, August.
  8. Nogues, Julio J & Olechowski, Andrzej & Winters, L Alan, 1986. "The Extent of Nontariff Barriers to Industrial Countries' Imports," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 1(1), pages 181-99, September.
  9. Andriamananjara, Soamiely & Dean, Judith M. & Feinberg, Robert & Ferrantino, Michael J. & Ludema, Rodney & Tsigas, Marinos E., 2004. "The Effects of Non-Tariff Measures on Prices, Trade, and Welfare: CGE Implementation of Policy-Based Price Comparisons," Working Papers 15863, United States International Trade Commission, Office of Economics.
  10. Qing Wang, 2001. "Import-Reducing Effect of Trade Barriers; A Cross-Country Investigation," IMF Working Papers 01/216, International Monetary Fund.
  11. Bernard Hoekman & Francis Ng & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2004. "Agricultural Tariffs or Subsidies: Which Are More Important for Developing Economies?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 175-204.
  12. Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 1993. "Domestic distortions and international trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1163, The World Bank.
  13. Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 1992. "A new approach to evaluating trade policy," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1022, The World Bank.
  14. Scott Bradford, 2003. "Paying the Price: Final Goods Protection in OECD Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 85(1), pages 24-37, February.
  15. Trefler, Daniel, 1993. "Trade Liberalization and the Theory of Endogenous Protection: An Econometric Study of U.S. Import Policy," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(1), pages 138-60, February.
  16. 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.
  17. Edward E. Leamer, 1986. "Cross Section Estimation of the Effects of Trade Barriers," UCLA Economics Working Papers 417, UCLA Department of Economics.
  18. James Anderson, 1995. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 290., Boston College Department of Economics.
  19. Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1997. "Measurement of Non-Tariff Barriers," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
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