Trade Policy Under Asymmetric Information
We consider optimal trade policy for a large country with private information. We show that the optimal tariff leads to a signaling equilibrium with higher tariffs and lower welfare than under complete information, whereas the optimal import quota replicates the complete information equilibrium and thus is superior to the tariff. We also show that, with the tariff, the country may be better off being uninformed. Finally, we show that if the importing nation cannot commit to its tariff, the use of futures contracts together with the dynamically consistent tariff leads to the same equilibrium as under complete information with commitment.
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