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Implementing Free Trade Areas: Rules of Origin and Hidden Protection

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  • Kala Krishna
  • Anne Krueger

Abstract

This paper focuses on the effects of rules of origin in Free Trade Areas. We first point out that even rules of origin which are not restrictive, namely those which do not raise costs of production, have very pronounced effects on trade and investment flows. We then look at some different ways of specifying rules of origin (ROOs) under perfect competition. We compare price and cost based ROOs and show that even if they are equivalent in the 'long run', they are not equivalent in the short run where capacity constraints can exist. We also show that some kinds of ROOs can be ranked in terms of their implications for producer profits. We also show that welfare is likely to be non monotonic in the restrictiveness of the ROO, so that making a ROO more stringent could raise welfare. Finally, we show that in the presence of imperfect competition, ROOs may raise output and reduce prices as they become more stringent.

Suggested Citation

  • Kala Krishna & Anne Krueger, 1995. "Implementing Free Trade Areas: Rules of Origin and Hidden Protection," NBER Working Papers 4983, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4983
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Beghin, John C & Lovell, C A Knox, 1993. "Trade and Efficiency Effects of Domestic Content Protection: The Australian Tobacco and Cigarette Industries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 75(4), pages 623-631, November.
    2. Michael L. Mussa, 1984. "The Economics of Content Protection," NBER Working Papers 1457, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Florencio Lopez-de-Silane & James R. Markusen & Thomas F. Rutherford, 1993. "Anti-Competitive and Rent-Shifting Aspects of Domestic-Content Provisions in Regional Trade Blocks," NBER Working Papers 4512, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. McCulloch, Rachel & Johnson, Harry G, 1973. "A Note on Proportionally Distributed Quotas," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 63(4), pages 726-732, September.
    5. Hollander, Abraham, 1987. "Content protection and transnational monopoly," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 283-297, November.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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