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Unilateral Tariff Liberalisation

  • Richard Baldwin

Unilateral tariff liberalisation by developing nations is pervasive but our understanding of it is shallow. This paper strives to partly redress this lacuna on the theory side by introducing three novel political economy mechanisms with particular emphasis is on the role of production unbundling. One mechanism studies how lowering frictional barriers to imported parts can destroy the correlation of interests between parts producers and their downstream customers. A second mechanism studies how Kojima's pro-trade FDI raises the political economy cost of maintaining high upstream barriers. The third works via a general equilibrium channel whereby developing country's participation in the supply chains of advanced-nation industries undermines their own competitiveness in final goods, thus making final good protection more politically costly. In essence, developing nations' pursuit of the export-processing industrialisation undermines their infant-industry industrialisation strategies.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16600.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 16600.

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Date of creation: Dec 2010
Publication status: published as “Unilateral tariff liberalisation”, in The International Economy , Journal of The Japan Society of. International Economics, No.14, pp 10-43. 2010. Also NBER WP No. 16600, 2010.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:16600
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  1. Baldwin, Richard E. & Venables, Anthony J., 1995. "Regional economic integration," Handbook of International Economics, in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1597-1644 Elsevier.
  2. Hummels, David, 1999. "Toward a Geography of Trade Costs," GTAP Working Papers 1162, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  3. Baldwin, Richard & Robert-Nicoud, Frédéric, 2007. "A Simple Model of The Juggernaut Effect of Trade Liberalisation," CEPR Discussion Papers 6607, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Marco Fugazza & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2010. "The 'emulator effect' of the Uruguay round on US regionalism," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 28723, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  5. Andrea Ariu & Giordano Mion, 2010. "Trade in services : IT and task content," Working Paper Research 200, National Bank of Belgium.
  6. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Entry and asymmetric lobbying: why governments pick losers," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 19726, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  7. Ludema, Rodney D & Mayda, Anna Maria & Mishra, Prachi, 2010. "Protection for Free? The Political Economy of U.S. Tariff Suspensions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7926, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Richard E. Baldwin & Frédéric Robert-Nicoud, 2007. "Protection for Sale Made Easy," CEP Discussion Papers dp0800, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  9. Olivier Cadot & Jaime de Melo & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2015. "Lobbying, Counterlobbying, and the Structure of Tariff Protection in Poor and Rich Countries," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Modeling Developing Countries' Policies in General Equilibrium, chapter 13, pages 295-316 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  10. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1993. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," NBER Working Papers 4280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Antoni Estevadeordal & Caroline Freund & Emanuel Ornelas, 2008. "Does Regionalism Affect Trade Liberalization Towards Non-Members?," CEP Discussion Papers dp0868, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  12. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506.
  13. Krishna, Pravin & Mitra, Devashish, 2008. "Reciprocated unilateralism in trade reforms with majority voting," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1-2), pages 81-93, February.
  14. Baldwin, Richard, 2006. "Managing the Noodle Bowl: The Fragility of East Asian Regionalism," CEPR Discussion Papers 5561, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  15. Green, Edward J & Porter, Robert H, 1984. "Noncooperative Collusion under Imperfect Price Information," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(1), pages 87-100, January.
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  17. Jun Ishii & Kei-Mu Yi, 1997. "The growth of world trade," Research Paper 9718, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  18. Olivier Cadot & Jaime de Melo & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2015. "The Protectionist Bias of Duty Drawbacks: Evidence from Mercosur," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Developing Countries in the World Economy, chapter 15, pages 359-380 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  19. Kimura, Fukunari & Takahashi, Yuya & Hayakawa, Kazunobu, 2007. "Fragmentation and parts and components trade: Comparison between East Asia and Europe," The North American Journal of Economics and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 18(1), pages 23-40, February.
  20. Paola Conconi & Carlo Perroni, 2012. "Conditional versus Unconditional Trade Concessions for Developing Countries," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/98541, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
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  22. Pierre-Louis Vézina, 2014. "Race-to-the-bottom Tariff Cutting," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 444-458, 08.
  23. Baldwin, Robert Edward & Baldwin, Richard Edward, 1996. "Alternate approaches to the political economy of endogenous trade liberalization," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-5), pages 775-782, April.
  24. Coates, Daniel E. & Ludema, Rodney D., 2001. "A theory of trade policy leadership," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, June.
  25. Gene M. Grossman & Esteban Rossi-Hansberg, 2006. "Trading Tasks: A Simple Theory of Offshoring," NBER Working Papers 12721, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. Ornelas, Emanuel, 2005. "Trade creating free trade areas and the undermining of multilateralism," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(7), pages 1717-1735, October.
  27. Venables, Anthony J., 1985. "Trade and trade policy with imperfect competition: The case of identical products and free entry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1-2), pages 1-19, August.
  28. Mitsuyo Ando & Fukunari Kimura, 2005. "The Formation of International Production and Distribution Networks in East Asia," NBER Chapters, in: International Trade in East Asia, NBER-East Asia Seminar on Economics, Volume 14, pages 177-216 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  29. Calvo-Pardo, Hector & Freund, Caroline & Ornelas, Emanuel, 2009. "The ASEAN free trade agreement : impact on trade flows and external trade barriers," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4960, The World Bank.
  30. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2001. "Unilateralism in a Multilateral World," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 01-033/2, Tinbergen Institute.
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  32. L. Alan Winters & Shahid Yusuf, 2007. "Dancing with the Giants: China, India, and the Global Economy," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6632.
  33. Robert C. Feenstra & Gordon H. Hanson, 1995. "Foreign Direct Investment and Relative Wages: Evidence from Mexico's Maquiladoras," NBER Working Papers 5122, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  34. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
  35. Milner, Helen V. & Kubota, Keiko, 2005. "Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 107-143, January.
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