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Protectionism Isn't Counter‐Cyclic (anymore)

  • Andrew K. Rose

Conventional wisdom holds that protectionism is counter-cyclic; tariffs, quotas and the like grow during recessions. While that may have been a valid description of the data before the Second World War, it is now inaccurate. In the post-war era, protectionism has not actually moved counter-cyclically. Tariffs and non-tariff barriers simply do not rise systematically during cyclic downturns. I document this new stylized fact with a panel of data covering over 60 countries and 30 years, using eighteen measures of protectionism and seven of business cycles. I also provide some hints as to why protectionism is no longer counter-cyclic.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w18062.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 18062.

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Date of creation: May 2012
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Publication status: published as “Protectionism isn’t Counter-Cyclic (anymore)”, NBER WP 18,062, CEPR DP 8937, Economic Policy 2013.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:18062
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