IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/nbr/nberwo/4452.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions

Author

Listed:
  • Paul M. Romer

Abstract

The typical economic model implicitly assumes that the set of goods in an economy never changes. As a result, the predicted efficiency loss from a tariff is small, on the order of the square of the tariff rate. If we loosen this assumption and assume that international trade can bring new goods into an economy, the fraction of national income lost when a tariff is imposed can be much larger, as much as two times the tariff rate. Much of this paper is devoted to explaining why this seemingly small change in the assumptions of a model can have such important positive and normative implications. The paper also asks why the implications of new goods have not been more extensively explored, especially given that the basic economic issues were identified more than 150 years ago. The mathematical difficulty of modeling new goods has no doubt been part of the problem. An equally, if not more important stumbling block has been the deep philosophical resistance that humans feel toward the unavoidable logical consequence of assuming that genuinely new things can happen at every juncture: the world as we know it is the result of a long string of chance outcomes.

Suggested Citation

  • Paul M. Romer, 1993. "New Goods, Old Theory, and the Welfare Costs of Trade Restrictions," NBER Working Papers 4452, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4452
    Note: EFG
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w4452.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1991. "Quality Ladders in the Theory of Growth," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(1), pages 43-61.
    4. Rebelo, Sergio, 1991. "Long-Run Policy Analysis and Long-Run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 500-521, June.
    5. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    6. David, Paul A, 1985. "Clio and the Economics of QWERTY," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(2), pages 332-337, May.
    7. Francisco L. Rivera-Batiz & Luis A. Rivera-Batiz, 2018. "Economic Integration and Endogenous Growth," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Francisco L Rivera-Batiz & Luis A Rivera-Batiz (ed.), International Trade, Capital Flows and Economic Development, chapter 1, pages 3-32, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    8. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-846, September.
    9. Kelvin J. Lancaster, 1966. "A New Approach to Consumer Theory," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 74, pages 132-132.
    10. Brown, Donald J. & Heller, Walter P. & Starr, Ross M., 1992. "Two-part marginal cost pricing equilibria: Existence and efficiency," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 52-72.
    11. Robert C. Feenstra, 1992. "How Costly Is Protectionism?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(3), pages 159-178, Summer.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Gancia, Gino & Zilibotti, Fabrizio, 2005. "Horizontal Innovation in the Theory of Growth and Development," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 3, pages 111-170, Elsevier.
    2. Baldwin, Richard E. & Forslid, Rikard, 2000. "Trade liberalisation and endogenous growth: A q-theory approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 50(2), pages 497-517, April.
    3. Herrerias, M.J. & Orts, Vicente, 2013. "Capital goods imports and long-run growth: Is the Chinese experience relevant to developing countries?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 35(5), pages 781-797.
    4. Lai, Mingyong & Peng, Shuijun & BAO, Qun, 2006. "Technology spillovers, absorptive capacity and economic growth," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 300-320.
    5. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2008. "Perfectly competitive innovation," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(3), pages 435-453, April.
    6. Klaus Waelde, 1994. "Trade pattern reversal: The role of technological change, factor accumulation and government intervention," International Trade 9403003, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 06 Apr 1994.
    7. Helpman, Elhanan, 1992. "Endogenous macroeconomic growth theory," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 36(2-3), pages 237-267, April.
    8. Jones, Larry E. & Manuelli, Rodolfo E., 1997. "The sources of growth," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 75-114, January.
    9. Long, N.V. & Wong, K.Y., 1996. "Endogenous Growth and International Trade: A Survey," Working Papers 96-07, University of Washington, Department of Economics.
    10. Jan Witajewski-Baltvilks & Elena Verdolini & Massimo Tavoni, 2015. "Directed Technological Change and Energy Efficiency Improvements," Working Papers 2015.78, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    11. Smulders, Sjak & van de Klundert, Theo, 1995. "Imperfect competition, concentration and growth with firm-specific R & D," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 139-160, January.
    12. Diana Dimitrova, 2018. "The 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics," Economic Thought journal, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences - Economic Research Institute, issue 6, pages 98-152.
    13. Stolpe, Michael, 1995. "Technology and the dynamics of specialization in open economies," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 738, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    14. Knaap, T., 1998. "A survey of complementaries in growth and location theories," Research Report 98C44, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    15. Jones, Charles I., 2005. "Growth and Ideas," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 16, pages 1063-1111, Elsevier.
    16. repec:dgr:rugsom:98c44 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Gnidchenko, Andrey, 2011. "Моделирование Технологических И Институциональных Эффектов В Макроэкономическом Прогнозировании [Technological and Institutional Effects Modeling in Macroeconomic Forecasting]," MPRA Paper 35484, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised May 2011.
    18. Segerstrom, Paul, 1996. "Lecture Notes on Knowledge and Human Capital in the New Growth Theory," Working Paper Series 475, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
    19. Boldrin, Michele & Levine, David K., 2005. "Innováció - a verseny szemszögéből [Innovation: the competitive view]," Közgazdasági Szemle (Economic Review - monthly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences), Közgazdasági Szemle Alapítvány (Economic Review Foundation), vol. 0(6), pages 537-555.
    20. Bretschger, Lucas & Lechthaler, Filippo & Rausch, Sebastian & Zhang, Lin, 2017. "Knowledge diffusion, endogenous growth, and the costs of global climate policy," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 47-72.
    21. Pozzolo, Alberto Franco, 2004. "Endogenous Growth in Open Economies - A Survey of Major Results," Economics & Statistics Discussion Papers esdp04020, University of Molise, Dept. EGSeI.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • O10 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - General
    • F12 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Models of Trade with Imperfect Competition and Scale Economies; Fragmentation

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4452. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: https://edirc.repec.org/data/nberrus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.