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Voluntary Export Restraints on Automobiles: Evaluating a Strategic TradePolicy

  • Steven Berry
  • James Levinsohn
  • Ariel Pakes

In May, 1981, a voluntary export restraint (VER) was placed on exports of automobiles from Japan to the United States. As trade policies go, this one was important. At about the same time, though to much less fanfare, international trade theorists were obtaining (then) startling results from models of international trade in imperfectly competitive markets. These models suggested that in imperfectly competitive markets, an activist trade policy might enhance national welfare. In this paper, we provide some empirical evidence on whether these new theoretical possibilities might actually apply to the policy of VERs.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 5235.

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Date of creation: Aug 1995
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as American Economic Review, Vol.89, no. 3 (1999): 400-430.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:5235
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  1. Pakes, Ariel S, 1986. "Patents as Options: Some Estimates of the Value of Holding European Patent Stocks," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 755-84, July.
  2. Feenstra, R.C. & Gagnon, J.E. & Knetter, M.M., 1993. "Market Share and Exchange Rate Pass-Through in World Automobile Trade," Papers 93-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  3. Kala Krishna, 1985. "Trade Restrictions as Facilitating Practices," NBER Working Papers 1546, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Newey, W.K., 1989. "Efficient Instrumental Variables Estimation Of Nonlinear Models," Papers 341, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  5. 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.
  6. Steven T. Berry, 1994. "Estimating Discrete-Choice Models of Product Differentiation," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 25(2), pages 242-262, Summer.
  7. Bresnahan, Timothy F., 1981. "Departures from marginal-cost pricing in the American automobile industry : Estimates for 1977-1978," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 201-227, November.
  8. Feenstra, Robert C, 1988. "Quality Change under Trade Restraints in Japanese Autos," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 103(1), pages 131-46, February.
  9. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1978. "A Conditional Probit Model for Qualitative Choice: Discrete Decisions Recognizing Interdependence and Heterogeneous Preferences," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(2), pages 403-26, March.
  10. Feenstra, Robert C & Levinsohn, James A, 1995. "Estimating Markups and Market Conduct with Multidimensional Product Attributes," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(1), pages 19-52, January.
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