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Protectionist responses to the crisis – global trends and implications

  • Bussière, Matthieu
  • Pérez-Barreiro, Emilia
  • Straub, Roland
  • Taglioni, Daria

In this paper we take a systematic look at recent trends in global protectionism and at the potential implications of a protectionist backlash for economic growth, using results from the recent economic literature and new model simulations. We find that there has so far been a moderate increase in actual protectionist measures to restrict trade through tariff and non-tariff barriers. At the same time, evidence from surveys shows that public pressure for more economic protection has been mounting since the mid-2000s, and has possibly intensified since the start of the financial crisis. However, no World Trade Organization (WTO) member has retreated into widespread trade restrictions or protectionism to date. Our model-based simulations suggest that the impairment of the global flow of trade would hamper the recovery from the crisis, as well as the long-term growth potential of the global economy. At the same time, it is unlikely that protectionism would help to correct existing current account imbalances. Moreover, the countries implementing protectionist measures should expect a deterioration of their international competitiveness, which would further affect the potential for longer-term real GDP growth. JEL Classification: E22, E50

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Paper provided by European Central Bank in its series Occasional Paper Series with number 110.

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Date of creation: May 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ecb:ecbops:20100110
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  1. Sabine Herrmann & Adalbert Winkler, 2009. "Financial markets and the current account: emerging Europe versus emerging Asia," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 145(3), pages 531-550, October.
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  3. Antoine Bou�t & Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné & Sébastien Jean & David Laborde, 2008. "Assessing Applied Protection across the World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(5), pages 850-863, November.
  4. Amelia Santos-Paulino & A. P. Thirlwall, 2004. "The impact of trade liberalisation on exports, imports and the balance of payments of developing countries," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F50-F72, 02.
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  6. K. H. O'Rourke & R. Sinnott, 2001. "The Determinants of Individual Trade Policy Preferences: International Survey Evidence," Trinity Economics Papers 200110, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  7. Karim Barhoumi & Szilard Benk & Riccardo Cristadoro & Ard Den Reijer & Audrone Jakaitiene & Piotr Jelonek & António Rua & Gerhard Rünstler & Karsten Ruth & Christophe Van Nieuwenhuyze, 2008. "Short-term forecasting of GDP using large monthly datasets - a pseudo real-time forecast evaluation exercise," Occasional Paper Series 84, European Central Bank.
  8. Cappiello, Lorenzo & Gérard, Bruno & Kadareja, Arjan & Manganelli, Simone, 2006. "Financial integration of new EU Member States," Working Paper Series 0683, European Central Bank.
  9. Philippe Moutot & Alexander Jung & Francesco Paolo Mongelli, 2008. "The working of the eurosystem - monetary policy preparations and decision-making – selected issues," Occasional Paper Series 79, European Central Bank.
  10. Roland Beck & Michael Fidora, 2008. "The impact of sovereign wealth funds on global financial markets," Occasional Paper Series 91, European Central Bank.
  11. Robert Kaufmann & Pavlos Karadeloglou & Filippo di Mauro, 2008. "Will oil prices decline over the long run?," Occasional Paper Series 98, European Central Bank.
  12. Markus Baltzer & Lorenzo Cappiello & Roberto A. De Santis & Simone Manganelli, 2008. "Measuring financial integration in new EU member states," Occasional Paper Series 81, European Central Bank.
  13. Thierry Bracke & Matthieu Bussière & Michael Fidora & Roland Straub, 2008. "A framework for assessing global imbalances," Occasional Paper Series 78, European Central Bank.
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