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Measuring Nontariff Trade Policies

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  • Robert E. Baldwin

Abstract

This paper surveys and critiques various methods of measuring nontariff trade measures (NTMs) for the purpose of determining which seem most promising for facilitating the process of reducing the trade-distorting effects of such policies through multilateral negotiations. Four measurement methods are analyzed: price-impact measures, quantity-impact measures, frequency-type measures, and welfare measures. The general conclusion is that, despite a host of difficulties, theoretical and empirical analysis has progressed sufficiently far to enable reasonable measures of nontariff policies to be made that are useful for assessing relative sectoral protection across countries and monitoring changes in protection and subsidization levels over time. Tariff and subsidy equivalents, preferably determined by directly comparing distorted and non-distorted prices, are the most useful forms of measurement, since they focus on the price-distorting effects of NTMs and are also concepts with which public and private officials are already familiar. However, the various other types of measures can be valuable in supplementing the information obtained from tariff and subsidy equivalents.

Suggested Citation

  • Robert E. Baldwin, 1989. "Measuring Nontariff Trade Policies," NBER Working Papers 2978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:2978
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    1. Bela Balassa, 1965. "Tariff Protection in Industrial Countries: An Evaluation," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 73, pages 573-573.
    2. Hamilton, Carl, 1986. "An Assessment of Voluntary Restraints on Hong Kong Exports to Europe and the USA," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 53(211), pages 339-350, August.
    3. Jagdish N. Bhagwati & T. N. Srinivasan, 1975. "Foreign Trade Regimes and Economic Development: India," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number bhag75-1, July.
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    5. Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M. Stern, 1997. "Measurement of Non-Tariff Barriers," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 179, OECD Publishing.
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    Cited by:

    1. Chau, Nancy H. & Färe, Rolf, 2011. "Shadow pricing market access: A trade benefit function approach," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(4), pages 1631-1663, July.
    2. Jean-Louis Combes & Tahsin Saadi-Sedik, 2006. "How does trade openness influence budget deficits in developing countries?," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 42(8), pages 1401-1416.
    3. Epstein, Philip & Howlett, Peter & Schulze, Max-Stephan, 2004. "Trade, convergence and globalisation: the dynamics of change in the international income distribution, 1950-1998," Economic History Working Papers 13295, London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Economic History.
    4. Maria Cipollina & Luca Salvatici, 2008. "Measuring Protection: Mission Impossible?," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(3), pages 577-616, July.
    5. Andriamananjara, Shuby & Nash, John, 1997. "Have trade policy reforms led to greater openness in developing countries : evidence from readily available trade data," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1730, The World Bank.
    6. Olivier Cadot & Julien Gourdon, 2016. "Non-tariff measures, preferential trade agreements, and prices: new evidence," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 152(2), pages 227-249, May.
    7. Scott Bradford, 2000. "Rents, Votes, and Protection: Explaining the Structure of Trade Barriers Across Industries," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1717, Econometric Society.
    8. Loayza, Norman & Palacios, Luisa, 1997. "Economic reform and progress in Latin America and the Caribbean," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1829, The World Bank.
    9. Olivier Cadot & Julien Gourdon, 2014. "Editor's choice Assessing the Price-Raising Effect of Non-Tariff Measures in Africa," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 23(4), pages 425-463.
    10. Cadot, Olivier, 2015. "NTMs, Preferential Trade Agreements, and Prices: New evidence," Papers 807, World Trade Institute.
    11. Xiangming Li, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Real Exchange Rate Movement," IMF Working Papers 03/124, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Andrew Sumner, 2006. "Why Are We Still Arguing about Globalisation," Working Papers id:538, eSocialSciences.
    13. Ingco, Merlinda D., 1995. "Agricultural trade liberalization in the Uruguay Round : one step forward, one step back?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1500, The World Bank.
    14. Pritchett, Lant, 1996. "Measuring outward orientation in LDCs: Can it be done?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 307-335, May.
    15. Gavin Cameron & James Proudman & Stephen Redding, 1999. "Openness and its association with productivity growth in UK manufacturing industry," Bank of England working papers 104, Bank of England.
    16. Carmen Fillat & Eva Pardos, 2007. "Alternative measures for trade restrictiveness. A gravity approach," Documentos de Trabajo dt2007-02, Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Empresariales, Universidad de Zaragoza.
    17. Merlinda D. Ingco, 1996. "Tariffication in the Uruguay Round: How Much Liberalisation?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 19(4), pages 425-446, July.

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