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Monopoly Power in Domestic Production, Smuggling, and the Non-Equivalence Between Tariffs and Quotas

Author

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  • LAPAN, Harvey E.
  • LARUE, Bruno

Abstract

During the last thirty years, one of the most popular research topics in international trade has been the non-equivalence among policy instruments such as specific and ad valorem import tariffs, voluntary export restraints and import quotas. The non-equivalence principle was shown to hold under revenue/rent seeking behavior (Vousden, 1990), under uncertainty (Young and Anderson, 1982), and in the presence of retaliation (Melvin, 1986; Syropoulos, 1994). Furthermore, it has been shown that different policy instruments have different effects on the stability of world prices (Zwart and Blandford, 1989) in addition to having different effects on the quality/composition of imports (Falvey, 1979; Das and Donnefeld, 1987). Perhaps the best known case of non-equivalence is the one described by Bhagwati (1965, 1969) where domestic production is controlled by a monopolist. For a given volume of imports, an import tariff generates a lower domestic price and less deadweight loss than an import quota. Casual empirical evidence from developing and developed countries alike indicates that highly distorted prices, resulting from trade and domestic taxes, provide consumers and firms the necessary incentives to engage in various types of illegal activities usually referred to as smuggling. In spite of the prevalence oft his by-product of government intervention, it is often ignored for policy analysis purposes. In this paper, we revisit Bhagwati's non-equivalence when domestic production is controlled by a monopolist and allow smuggling activities to t^e place when the differential between the domestic price and the world price is high enough.
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Suggested Citation

  • LAPAN, Harvey E. & LARUE, Bruno, 1995. "Monopoly Power in Domestic Production, Smuggling, and the Non-Equivalence Between Tariffs and Quotas," Cahiers de recherche 9526, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  • Handle: RePEc:lvl:laeccr:9526
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Kaempfer, William H & Marks, Stephen V & Willett, Thomas D, 1988. "Why Do Large Countries Prefer Quantitative Trade Restrictions?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 625-646.
    2. Jagdish Bhagwati, 1969. "Trade, Tariffs, and Growth," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262523590, December.
    3. William H. Kaempfer & Stephen V. Marks & Thomas D. Willett, 1988. "Why Do Large Countries Prefer Quantitative Trade Restrictions?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(4), pages 625-646, November.
    4. Jagdish Bhagwati & Bent Hansen, 1973. "A Theoretical Analysis of Smuggling," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 87(2), pages 172-187.
    5. Analysis, A Welfare & Das, Satya P. & Donnenfeld, Shabtai, 1987. "Trade policy and its impact on quality of imports," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(1-2), pages 77-95, August.
    6. Sweeney, Richard J. & Tower, Edward & Willett, Thomas D., 1977. "The ranking of alternative tariff and quota policies in the presence of domestic monopoly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 349-362, November.
    7. Julio J. Rotemberg & Garth Saloner, 1989. "Tariffs vs Quotas with Implicit Collusion," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 22(2), pages 237-244, May.
    8. Anthony C. Zwart & David Blandford, 1989. "Market Intervention and International Price Stability," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 71(2), pages 379-388.
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    12. Vousden,Neil, 1990. "The Economics of Trade Protection," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521346696, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General
    • L12 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Monopoly; Monopolization Strategies
    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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