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Trade Policies Based on Political Externalities: An Exploration, Third Version

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  • Wilfred J. Ethier

    () (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Abstract

During the past half century, multilateral trade liberalization has reduced tariffs to historically low levels. The Received Theory of multilateral trade agreements, based solely on terms-of-trade externalities between national governments, offers an explanation that has become the conventional wisdom among international trade theorists. But this explanation displays two puzzles that render it inconsistent with actual trade policy and actual trade agreements: the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle and the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle. This paper addresses inter-governmental political externalities in a model with terms-of-trade externalities. The model resolves the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle if and only if political externalities dominate terms-of-trade externalities. But it resolves the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle, and delivers results consistent with what we actually observe, only if terms-of-trade externalities play no role whatsoever.

Suggested Citation

  • Wilfred J. Ethier, 2002. "Trade Policies Based on Political Externalities: An Exploration, Third Version," PIER Working Paper Archive 04-006, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania, revised 04 Feb 2004.
  • Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:04-006
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    File URL: http://economics.sas.upenn.edu/system/files/working-papers/04-006.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
    8. Wilfred J. Ethier, 2004. "Political Externalities, Nondiscrimination, and a Multilateral World," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 12(3), pages 303-320, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michael Daly, 2006. "WTO Rules on Direct Taxation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 29(5), pages 527-557, May.
    2. Rolf J. Langhammer, 2010. "Unordnung in der internationalen Handelsordnung: Befunde, Gründe, Auswirkungen und Therapien," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(1), pages 75-98, February.
    3. Tadashi Ito, 2007. "NAFTA and productivity convergence between Mexico and the US," IHEID Working Papers 26-2007, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies, revised 27 Nov 2007.
    4. Limao, Nuno & Panagariya, Arvind, 2007. "Inequality and endogenous trade policy outcomes," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 292-309, July.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Political externalities; trade agreements; the Received Theory; the Terms-of-Trade Puzzle; the Anti-Trade-Bias Puzzle;

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations

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