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Sustaining Free Trade with Imperfect Private Information about Non-Tariff Barriers

  • Jee-Hyeong Park
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    This paper examines the issue of sustaining free trade when countries receive imperfect private information about each other’s non-tariff barriers. Because the countries can misrepresent their private belief about other countries’ protection levels, the punishment scheme to deter deviations from free trade should provide right incentives for the countries to elicit the true private information. This incentive constraint (ICP) restricts the length of punishment phases. If the private information is almost perfect, the ICP is not a binding constraint for symmetric countries in sustaining symmetric cooperation. However, the ICP does become a binding constraint if there exists a large enough asymmetry in the countries’ incentives to deviate from free trade, or if there exists a large enough asymmetry in the transparency of countries’ trade policies. Then, a mechanism that publicizes the information about non-tariff barriers, like Trade Policy Review Mechanism (TPRM) of WTO, can play a positive role in restoring cooperation by relaxing the ICP.

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    File URL: http://repec.org/esFEAM04/up.8775.1080753256.pdf
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    Paper provided by Econometric Society in its series Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings with number 736.

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    Date of creation: 11 Aug 2004
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    Handle: RePEc:ecm:feam04:736
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    1. Fudenberg, D. & Levine, D.K. & Maskin, E., 1989. "The Folk Theorem With Inperfect Public Information," Working papers 523, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
    2. Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2000. "International trade agreements between countries of asymmetric size," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 473-495, April.
    3. Riezman, Raymond G., 1990. "Dynamic Tariffs with Asymmetric Information," Working Papers 720, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
    4. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "International Rules and Institutions for Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 4962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    6. Kandori, Michihiro, 1992. "The Use of Information in Repeated Games with Imperfect Monitoring," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(3), pages 581-93, July.
    7. Ludema, R.D., 1990. "Optimal International Trade Agreements And Dispute Settlement Procedures," UWO Department of Economics Working Papers 9101, University of Western Ontario, Department of Economics.
    8. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1996. "Reciprocal Trade Liberalization," Discussion Papers 1150, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    9. Radner, Roy, 1986. "Repeated Partnership Games with Imperfect Monitoring and No Discounting," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 53(1), pages 43-57, January.
    10. Edward J Green & Robert H Porter, 1997. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Levine's Working Paper Archive 1147, David K. Levine.
    11. Sekiguchi, Tadashi, 1997. "Efficiency in Repeated Prisoner's Dilemma with Private Monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 76(2), pages 345-361, October.
    12. Fudenberg, Drew & Levine, David K., 1991. "An approximate folk theorem with imperfect private information," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 26-47, June.
    13. Athey, Susan & Bagwell, Kyle, 2001. "Optimal Collusion with Private Information," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 32(3), pages 428-65, Autumn.
    14. Abreu, Dilip & Pearce, David & Stacchetti, Ennio, 1986. "Optimal cartel equilibria with imperfect monitoring," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 251-269, June.
    15. Michihiro Kandori & Hitoshi Matsushima, 1998. "Private Observation, Communication and Collusion," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(3), pages 627-652, May.
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