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Welfare Reducing Trade and Optimal Trade Policy

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  • E. Kwan Choi
  • Hamid Beladi

Abstract

In contrast to some trade theorists' long-held beliefs, this study shows that free trade reduces the welfare of a small country with unemployment unless the free trade price of the importable falls below the autarky equivalent price. This study formulates a disequilibrium trade model with sticky money wages that has been generalized to fixed-price economies where output prices as well as wages are fixed, independent of excess demand or supply in the labor and goods markets. After describing the model and its solution, the authors discuss the implications of changing tariff rates on foreign products, construct a numerical example showing that their result is possible for many countries with unemployment, and analyze the issues of optimal tariff.

Suggested Citation

  • E. Kwan Choi & Hamid Beladi, 1998. "Welfare Reducing Trade and Optimal Trade Policy," Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) Publications 98-wp196, Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) at Iowa State University.
  • Handle: RePEc:ias:cpaper:98-wp196
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Murray C. Kemp, 1968. "Some Issues In The Analysis Of Trade Gains," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 20(2), pages 149-161.
    2. Batra, Raveendra & Pattanaik, Prasanta K, 1970. "Domestic Distortions and the Gains from Trade," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 80(319), pages 638-649, September.
    3. Yu, Eden S H, 1982. "Unemployment and the Theory of Customs Unions," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 92(366), pages 399-404, June.
    4. Batra, Raveendra N & Beladi, Hamid, 1990. "Pattern of Trade between Underemployed Economies," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 57(228), pages 485-493, November.
    5. Choi, E Kwan & Beladi, Hamid, 1993. "Optimal Trade Policies for a Small Open Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 60(240), pages 475-486, November.
    6. Batra, Ravi, 1992. "The Fallacy of Free Trade," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 19-31, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Yoshiyasu Ono, 2010. "Trade Policy, Exchange Rate Adjustment and Unemployment," Chapters,in: Globalization and Economic Integration, chapter 7 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    2. Chi-Chur Chao & Chong Yip, 2001. "Non-traded goods and optimal trade policy in a cash-in-advance economy," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 10(1), pages 23-37.
    3. Yoshiyasu Ono, 2014. "International Economic Interdependence and Exchange-rate Adjustment under Persistent Stagnation," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 65(1), pages 70-92, March.
    4. Chi-Chur Chao & Chong Yip, 2000. "Urban unemployment and optimal trade policy in a cash-in-advance economy," Journal of Economics, Springer, vol. 71(1), pages 59-77, February.

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