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Rent Sharing in the Multi-Fibre Arrangement: Theory and Evidence from US Apparel Imports from Hong Kong

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  • Kala Krishna
  • Refik Erzan
  • Ling Hui Tan

Abstract

Available estimates of tariff equivalents of quotas and welfare calculations on the costs of MFA quotas for developing countries are based on the premise of perfect competition in both product and license markets. It is also assumed that the exporting countries which administer the MFA quotas receive all the scarcity rent. We argue that in the presence of market power on the buyers' side in the product market combined with concentration in the license markets, the importing countries may retain part of this rent, i.e. share it with the exporters. We analyze US imports of apparel products from Hong Kong to see if the data conform with all the relevant predictions of the competitive model. Our method essentially tests whether the license price inclusive Hong Kong price, adjusted for tariffs and transport costs, is equal to the domestic (US) price. A deviation between the two prices is taken to indicate rent sharing. We test the hypothesis with homogeneous goods, modify it to take into account compositional differences and, finally, consider differentiated goods. We find evidence that importers retain a substantial portion of the MFA quota rents.

Suggested Citation

  • Kala Krishna & Refik Erzan & Ling Hui Tan, 1991. "Rent Sharing in the Multi-Fibre Arrangement: Theory and Evidence from US Apparel Imports from Hong Kong," NBER Working Papers 3673, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:3673
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    1. Kala Krishna & Kathleen Hogan & Phillip Swagel, 1989. "The Non-Optimality of Optimal Trade Policy: The U.S. Automobile Indust ry Revisited, 1979-1985," NBER Working Papers 3118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Trela, I. & Whalley, J., 1988. "Do Developing Countries Lose From The Mfa?," University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations Working Papers 8804c, University of Western Ontario, The Centre for the Study of International Economic Relations.
    3. Richard E. Baldwin & Paul Krugman, 1986. "Market Access and International Competition: A Simulation Study of 16K Random Access Memories," NBER Working Papers 1936, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Kala Krishna, 1985. "Tariffs vs. Quotas with Endogenous Quality," NBER Working Papers 1535, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. 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.
    6. Kala Krishna, 1988. "The Case of the Vanishing Revenues: Auction Quotas With Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 2723, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Carlos Alfredo Rodriguez, 1979. "The Quality of Imports and the Differential Welfare Effects of Tariffs, Quotas, and Quality Controls as Protective Devices," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 12(3), pages 439-449, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Hervé Guyomard & Catherine Laroche & Chantal Le Mouel, 1998. "Marché contingenté à l'importation et marché des droits à importer en concurrence imparfaite [Le cas de la banane dans l'Union européenne ]," Économie rurale, Programme National Persée, vol. 243(1), pages 47-55.
    2. Anderson, James E., 1997. "Revenue Neutral Trade Reform with Many Households, Quotas and Tariffs," Seminar Papers 626, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
    3. Anderson, James E, 2002. "Trade Reform Diagnostics with Many Households, Quotas, and Tariffs," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(2), pages 215-236, May.
    4. Riccardo Faini & Jaime Melo & Wendy Takacs, 1995. "A Primer on the MFA Maze," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(1), pages 113-135, January.
    5. Erzan, Refik & Holmes, Christopher, 1992. "The restrictiveness of the multi-fibre arrangement on Eastern European trade," Policy Research Working Paper Series 860, The World Bank.
    6. Bannister, Geoffrey J., 1993. "Rent-sharing in the multi-fibre arrangement : the case of Mexico," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1191, The World Bank.
    7. Silva, Peri, 2011. "The role of importers and exporters in the determination of the U.S. tariff preferences granted to Latin America," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(2), pages 207-219, March.
    8. Kenneth A. Reinert, 1993. "Textile and Apparel Protection in the United States: A General Equilibrium Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 16(3), pages 359-376, May.
    9. Lahiri, Sajal & Raimondos, Pascalis, 1995. "Welfare effects of aid under quantitative trade restrictions," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(3-4), pages 297-315, November.
    10. Krishna, Kala & Martin, Will & Tan, Ling Hui, 1997. "Imputing license prices: limitations of a cost-based approach," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 355-374, April.
    11. Montfort Mlachila & Yongzheng Yang, 2004. "The End of Textiles Quotas; A Case Study of the Impacton Bangladesh," IMF Working Papers 04/108, International Monetary Fund.
    12. Jarvis, Lovell S., 2003. "How Brazil Transferred Billions To Foreign Coffee Importers: The International Coffee Agreement, Rent Seeking And Export Tax Rebates," Working Papers 11967, University of California, Davis, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
    13. Kenneth Hanson & Kenneth Reinert, 1997. "The Distributional Effects of U.S. Textile and Apparel Protection," International Economic Journal, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 11(3), pages 1-12.
    14. Meenu Tiwari, 2006. "The Role of Price and cost Competitiveness in Apparel Exports, post MFA: A Review," Working Papers id:485, eSocialSciences.
    15. Hertel, Thomas W. & Bach, Christian F. & Dimaranan, Betina & Martin, Will, 1996. "Growth, globalization, and gains from the Uruguay Round," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1614, The World Bank.
    16. Geoffrey Bannister, 1994. "Rent sharing in the multi-fibre arrangement: The case of Mexico," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 130(4), pages 800-827, December.

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