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Choked by Red Tape? The Political Economy of Wasteful Trade Barriers

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  • Peter Neary
  • Giovanni Maggi
  • Monika Mrázová

Abstract

Abstract Red-tape barriers (RTBs) are an important source of trade costs, but have received little scholarly attention. Here we take a first step toward a theory of RTBs, and show that their implications are very different from those of more traditional trade barriers. Our model highlights that RTBs have important impacts on the extensive margin of trade, and yields rich predictions on how changes in the political-economic environment and product characteristics affect RTBs. Taking into account the endogenous response of RTBs is crucial to understanding the impact of reductions in tariffs and natural trade costs on the extensive and intensive margins of trade, as well as on welfare. Moreover, the availability of RTBs affects in important ways the tariff commitments that are specified in a trade agreement.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Neary & Giovanni Maggi & Monika Mrázová, 2018. "Choked by Red Tape? The Political Economy of Wasteful Trade Barriers," Economics Series Working Papers 847, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:847
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
    2. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
    3. Limão, Nuno & Tovar, Patricia, 2011. "Policy choice: Theory and evidence from commitment via international trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(2), pages 186-205.
    4. Robert A. Pollak, 1971. "Additive Utility Functions and Linear Engel Curves," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 38(4), pages 401-414.
    5. Beverelli, Cosimo & Neumueller, Simon & Teh, Robert, 2015. "Export Diversification Effects of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 293-310.
    6. Hildegunn Kyvik Nordås & Enrico Pinali & Massimo Geloso Grosso, 2006. "Logistics and Time as a Trade Barrier," OECD Trade Policy Papers 35, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    International trade policy; Non-Tari Measures; Political economy; Red tape barriers; Trade agreements;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • F55 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - International Institutional Arrangements

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