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How Trade Politics Affect Invasive Species Control

  • Margolis, Michael
  • Shogren, Jason

Trade has become the main mode of transport for many invasive species including diseases and agricultural pests. Most species are brought to their new homes unintentionally, which constitute a market failure rooted in international trade. Unless it is practical to drive invasion risk to zero, the external costs may justify a tariff. In this paper we analyze the political process likely to govern the formation of tariffs so justified, using a straightforward incorporation of an invasive species externality into Grossman and Helpman’s well-known political economy model. We show our measure of disguised protectionism—the gap between the optimal tariff and that set in the equilibrium of the political economy game—is equal to the tariff that would be set if there were no invasive species and no international disciplines on trade policy. The informational needs required to distinguish disguised protectionism from legitimate public-goods protection are formidable.

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Paper provided by Resources For the Future in its series Discussion Papers with number dp-04-07.

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Date of creation: 11 Feb 2004
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Handle: RePEc:rff:dpaper:dp-04-07
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  1. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoglu, 2002. ""Protection For Sale" In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 497-508, August.
  2. Aidt, Toke S., 1998. "Political internalization of economic externalities and environmental policy," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-16, July.
  3. Brian R. Copeland & M. Scott Taylor, 2004. "Trade, Growth, and the Environment," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 7-71, March.
  4. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Gawande, Kishore, 1997. "US non-tariff barriers as privately provided public goods," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 61-81, April.
  6. Pimentel, David & Zuniga, Rodolfo & Morrison, Doug, 2005. "Update on the environmental and economic costs associated with alien-invasive species in the United States," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 52(3), pages 273-288, February.
  7. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  8. Pauwelyn, Joost, 1998. "Evidence, Proof and Persuasion in WTO Dispute Settlement: Who Bears the Burden?," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(2), pages 227-58, June.
  9. Gary Clyde Hufbauer & Daniel C. Esty & Diana Orejas, 2000. "NAFTA and the Environment: Seven Years Later," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa61, May.
  10. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. McAusland, Carol & Costello, Christopher, 2004. "Avoiding invasives: trade-related policies for controlling unintentional exotic species introductions," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 954-977, September.
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