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Trade Wars and Trade Talks with Data

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  • Ralph Ossa

Abstract

How large are optimal tariffs? What tariffs would prevail in a worldwide trade war? How costly would be a breakdown of international trade policy cooperation? And what is the scope for future multilateral trade negotiations? I address these and other questions using a unified framework which nests traditional, new trade, and political economy motives for protection. I find that optimal tariffs average 62 percent, world trade war tariffs average 63 percent, the government welfare losses from a breakdown of international trade policy cooperation average 2.9 percent, and the possible government welfare gains from future multilateral trade negotiations average 0.5 percent. Optimal tariffs are tariffs which maximize a political economy augmented measure of real income.

Suggested Citation

  • Ralph Ossa, 2011. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks with Data," NBER Working Papers 17347, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:17347
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    JEL classification:

    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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