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Free Trade Agreements and External Tariffs

  • Baybars Karacaovali

    (Fordham University, Department of Economics)

There has been a proliferation of preferential trade agreements within the last two decades. In this paper I analyze the effects of free trade agreements (FTAs) on external tariffs under a political economy setup. I extend the Grossman and Helpman (1995) model by determining tariff rates endogenously instead of assuming they are fixed during or after the formation of FTAs. I show that for an exogenously established FTA, the tariff rates that apply to non-members essentially decline once the FTA is formed. More importantly, I investigate the interaction between endogenous tariff determination and the feasibility of an FTA. I find that the expectation of tariff reductions under endogenous tariffs makes an otherwise feasible FTA under fixed tariffs become infeasible. However, if domestic import-competing sectors are relatively smaller, an FTA is more likely to be feasible as compared to fixed tariffs.

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Paper provided by Fordham University, Department of Economics in its series Fordham Economics Discussion Paper Series with number dp2010-03.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:frd:wpaper:dp2010-03
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.fordham.edu/economics/
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  1. Cadot, Olivier & de Melo, Jaime & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1996. "Regional Integration and Lobbying for Tariffs Against Non-members," CEPR Discussion Papers 1448, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Baybars Karacaovali & Nuno Limao, 2005. "The Clash Of Liberalizations: Preferential Vs. Multilateral Trade Liberalization In The European Union," International Trade and Finance Association Conference Papers 1037, International Trade and Finance Association.
  3. Antoni Estevadeordal & Caroline Freund & Emanuel Ornelas, 2008. "Does Regionalism Affect Trade Liberalization Towards Non-Members?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0868, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  4. Kemp, Murray C. & Wan, Henry Jr., 1976. "An elementary proposition concerning the formation of customs unions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(1), pages 95-97, February.
  5. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506, November.
  6. Panagariya, Arvind & Findlay, Ronald & DEC, 1994. "A political - economy analysis of free trade areas and customs unions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1261, The World Bank.
  7. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  8. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  9. Kamal Saggi, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements And Multilateral Tariff Cooperation ," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 47(1), pages 29-57, 02.
  10. Grossman, Gene & Helpman, Elhanan, 1993. "Protection for Sale," CEPR Discussion Papers 827, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  11. Pabo Sanguinetti & Alok Bohara & Kishore Guatanabe, 2003. "Trade Diverion and Declinning Tariffs: Evidence from MERCOSUR," Department of Economics Working Papers 003, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella.
  12. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
  13. Bond, Eric W. & Riezman, Raymond G. & Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2004. "A strategic and welfare theoretic analysis of free trade areas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 1-27, October.
  14. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
  15. Nuno Limao, 2006. "Preferential Trade Agreements as Stumbling Blocks for Multilateral Trade Liberalization: Evidence for the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 896-914, June.
  16. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
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