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The Structure of Tariffs and Long-Term Growth

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  • Nathan Nunn

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  • Daniel Trefler

    ()

We show that the ‘skill-bias’ of a country’s tariff structure is positively correlated with long-term per capita GDP growth. Testing for causal mechanisms, we find evidence consistent with the existence of real benefits from tariffs focused in skill-intensive industries. However, this only accounts for a quarter of the total correlation between skill-biased tariffs and growth. Turning to alternative explanations, we extend the standard Grossman-Helpman ‘protection-for-sale’ model and show how the skill-bias of tariffs can reflect the extent of domestic rent-seeking activities in the economy. We provide evidence that the remaining variation is explained by this endogeneity.[Working Paper No.]

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Paper provided by eSocialSciences in its series Working Papers with number id:2614.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
Handle: RePEc:ess:wpaper:id:2614
Note: Institutional Papers
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  6. Nathan Nunn & Daniel Trefler, 2006. "Putting the Lid on Lobbying: Tariff Structure and Long-Term Growth when Protection is for Sale," NBER Working Papers 12164, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Barro, Robert J & Lee, Jong-Wha, 2001. "International Data on Educational Attainment: Updates and Implications," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 541-563, July.
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  11. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  12. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output Per Worker than Others?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(1), pages 83-116.
  13. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
  14. O'Rourke, K, 1997. "Tariffs and Growth in the Late 19th Century," Papers 97/18, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  15. Sebastian Edwards, 1991. "Trade Orientation, Distortions and Growth in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 3716, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Raymond Fisman, 2001. "Estimating the Value of Political Connections," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 1095-1102, September.
  17. Jacks, David S., 2006. "New results on the tariff growth paradox," European Review of Economic History, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(02), pages 205-230, August.
  18. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, September.
  19. Arvind Subramanian & Trevor Serge Coleridge Alleyne, 2001. "What Does South Africa's Pattern of Trade Say About its Labor Markets?," IMF Working Papers 01/148, .
  20. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, 09.
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  22. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1988. "On the mechanics of economic development," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(1), pages 3-42, July.
  23. David N. DeJong & Marla Ripoll, 2006. "Tariffs and Growth: An Empirical Exploration of Contingent Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 625-640, November.
  24. Yanikkaya, Halit, 2003. "Trade openness and economic growth: a cross-country empirical investigation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 57-89, October.
  25. Luis A. Rivera-Batiz & Paul M. Romer, 1990. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," NBER Working Papers 3528, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Huiwen Lai & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "The Gains from Trade with Monopolistic Competition: Specification, Estimation, and Mis-Specification," NBER Working Papers 9169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  27. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2000. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View From Trade," NBER Working Papers 7941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Paolo Mauro, 1995. "Corruption and Growth," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 110(3), pages 681-712.
  29. Li, Hongbin & Meng, Lingsheng & Wang, Qian & Zhou, Li-An, 2008. "Political connections, financing and firm performance: Evidence from Chinese private firms," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 87(2), pages 283-299, October.
  30. Douglas A. Irwin, 2002. "Interpreting the Tariff–Growth Correlation of the Late 19th Century," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(2), pages 165-169, May.
  31. Vamvakidis, Athanasios, 2002. "How Robust Is the Growth-Openness Connection? Historical Evidence," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 7(1), pages 57-80, March.
  32. Mara Faccio, 2006. "Politically Connected Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 369-386, March.
  33. Robert E. Hall & Charles I. Jones, 1999. "Why Do Some Countries Produce So Much More Output per Worker than Others?," NBER Working Papers 6564, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "Decreasing Costs in International Trade and Frank Graham's Argument for Protection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1243-1268, September.
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