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Measures of Trade Openness Using CGE Analysis

  • Lloyd, P.J.
  • MacLaren, D.

While a number of measures of openness have been used in empirical studies, none has a theoretical derivation. Using cge models of an economy, this paper derives a number of measures of opennesss which lie on the unit interval and have a welfare interpretation. One group of measure are transformations of the Uniform Tariff Equivalent which are zero for a closed economy and unity for a completely open economy, and have the property that national welfare increases monotonically with the measures of openess. An alternative measure is calculated as the ratio of the volume of trade in a restricted trade situation to that under the free trade situation. These measures are calculated for 8 regions of the world economy, using the GTAP model. We find close correspondence between all the cge measures but the ranking of countries according to these measures differs substantially from that of the actual trade ratios which are most commonly used in empirical studies.

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Paper provided by The University of Melbourne in its series Department of Economics - Working Papers Series with number 659.

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Length: 18 pages
Date of creation: 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:mlb:wpaper:659
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, The University of Melbourne, 4th Floor, FBE Building, Level 4, 111 Barry Street. Victoria, 3010, Australia
Phone: +61 3 8344 5355
Fax: +61 3 8344 6899
Web page: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au
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  1. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
  2. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 107-25, January.
  3. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
  4. J Anderson & J.P. Neary, 1994. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of Trade Policy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0186, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  5. Brown, Drusilla K., 1987. "Tariffs, the terms of trade, and national product differentiation," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 503-526.
  6. Lloyd, P. J. & Schweinberger, A. G., 1988. "Trade expenditure functions and the gains from trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(3-4), pages 275-297, May.
  7. James Anderson, 1995. "Trade Restrictiveness Benchmarks," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 290., Boston College Department of Economics.
  8. Anderson, James E., 1992. "Tariff index theory," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1023, The World Bank.
  9. Edwards, Sebastian, 1993. "Openness, Trade Liberalization, and Growth in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 31(3), pages 1358-93, September.
  10. Edward E. Leamer, 1988. "Measures of Openness," NBER Chapters, in: Trade Policy Issues and Empirical Analysis, pages 145-204 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Clinton R. Shiells & Kenneth A. Reinert, 1993. "Armington Models and Terms-of-Trade Effects: Some Econometric Evidence for North America," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, May.
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