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Trade Liberalization in General Equilibrium: Intertemporal and Inter-Industry Effects

  • Lawrence H. Goulder
  • Barry Eichengreen

This paper uses a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to simulate the effects of unilateral reductions by the U.S. in tariffs and "voluntary" export restraints (VER's). We consider 50 percent cuts in tariffs and in ad valorem VER equivalents, separately and in combination. The model features intertemporal optimization by households and firms, explicit adjustment dynamics, an integrated treatment of the current and capital accounts of the balance of payments, and industry disaggregation. Central findings include: (1) VER's are considerably more significant than tariffs in terms of the magnitude of the macroeconomic effects induced by their reduction; (2) while VER reductions enhance domestic welfare, unilateral tariff cuts reduce domestic welfare (as a consequence of U.S. monopsony power and associated adverse terms of trade effects); (3) international capital movements critically regulate the responses of the U.S. and foreign economies to these trade initiatives and produce significant differences between short and long-run effects; and (4) effects differ substantially across industries. Together, these findings indicate that simulation analyses that disregard international capital movements, adjustment dynamics, and industry differences may generate seriously misleading results.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 2965.

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Date of creation: May 1989
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Publication status: published as Canadian Journal of Economics, June 1992
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2965
Note: ITI IFM
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  2. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
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  17. Randall Wigle, 1988. "General Equilibrium Evaluation of Canada-U.S. Trade Liberalization in a Global Context," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 539-64, August.
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