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Optimal Tariffs; Theory and Practice

  • Ali Ibrahim
  • Arvind Subramanian
  • Luis A. Torres-Castro

This paper examines the theory underpinning the design of optimal tariffs in a developing economy, and the experience of implementation of tariff reforms. A central issue is whether and when a case can be made for a uniform tariff structure. While theory advocates a differentiated tariff structure (except under a balance of payments objective), political economy considerations, inadequate information, and administrative convenience point to a minimally differentiated tariff structure. The experience of reform indicates that tariff structures are mainly influenced by income distribution and protection objectives. The ability to successfully reduce tariffs depends on measures taken to alleviate fiscal and balance of payments constraints.

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Paper provided by International Monetary Fund in its series IMF Working Papers with number 93/50.

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Length: 64
Date of creation: 01 Jun 1993
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:imf:imfwpa:93/50
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