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Contingent Trade Policy and Economic Efficiency

  • Phillip McCalman
  • Frank Stähler
  • Gerald Willmann

This paper develops an efficiency theory of contingent trade policies. We model the competition for a domestic market between one domestic and one foreign firm as a pricing game under incomplete information about production costs. The cost distributions are asymmetric because the foreign firm incurs a trade cost to serve the domestic market. We show that the foreign firm prices more aggressively to overcome its cost disadvantage. This creates the possibility of an inefficient allocation, justifying the use of contingent trade policy on efficiency grounds. Despite an environment of asymmetric information, contingent trade policy that seeks to maximize global welfare can be designed to avoid the potential inefficiency. National governments, on the other hand, make excessive use of contingent trade policy due to rent shifting motives. The expected inefficiency of national policy is larger (smaller) for low (high) trade costs compared to the laissez-faire case. In general, there is no clear ranking between the laissez-faire outcome and a contingent national trade policy

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File URL: https://www.ifw-members.ifw-kiel.de/publications/contingent-trade-policy-and-economic-efficiency-1/KWP_1853.pdf
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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1853.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1853
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  1. Dobrin R. Kolev & Thomas J. Prusa, 1999. "Dumping and Double Crossing: The (In)Effectiveness of Cost-Based Trade Policy Under Incomplete Information," NBER Working Papers 6986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Chisik, Richard, 2003. "Gradualism in free trade agreements: a theoretical justification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 367-397, March.
  3. Horn, Henrik & Maggi, Giovanni & Staiger, Robert, 2007. "Trade Agreements as Endogenously Incomplete Contracts," CEPR Discussion Papers 6037, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Staiger, Robert W. & Wolak, Frank A., 1992. "The effect of domestic antidumping law in the presence of foreign monopoly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3-4), pages 265-287, May.
  5. Miyagiwa, Kaz & Ohno, Yuka, 2007. "Dumping as a signal of innovation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 221-240, March.
  6. Ronald D. Fischer & Thomas J. Prusa, 2003. "WTO Exceptions as Insurance," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(5), pages 745-757, November.
  7. Choi, E. Kwan & Harrigan, James, 2003. "Handbook of International Trade," Staff General Research Papers 11375, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  8. Anderson, James E, 1992. "Domino Dumping, I: Competitive Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 65-83, March.
  9. Xenia Matschke & Anja Schöttner, 2013. "Antidumping as Strategic Trade Policy under Asymmetric Information," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 80(1), pages 81-105, July.
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