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The Impact of trade preferences on export prices in the European Union - who captures the preference rent?


  • Xavier Cirera

    () (Institute of Development Studies (IDS), University of Sussex)


Preferential Trade Agreements (PTAs) aim at increasing trade flows via reductions on applied tariffs and the incentives created by the difference between the applied and the most favoured nation (MFN) tariff, the preference margin. An often omitted element in PTAs evaluation is the possibility that the wedge between preferential and MFN tariffs may induce a preference rent. This paper analyses empirically who captures the preference rent by exploiting a unique dataset of imports in the European Union at a highly disaggregated level (CN-10) linked to information on the preferential regime used and the tariff applied. In order to remove potential bias and measurement errors from comparing preferential prices from specific countries and products with average MFN prices, this paper uses the prices from the same country, product and year. This is possible since we observe in the database a large number of cases where in the same year a preferential regime is both utilised and non-utilised. Our main findings suggest that on average an exporter obtain a larger price margin under a preferential regime than under MFN. However, this preference rent is only partially appropriated by exporters with a pass-through coefficient from preference to price margins that oscillates between 0.16 and 0.5.

Suggested Citation

  • Xavier Cirera, 2010. "The Impact of trade preferences on export prices in the European Union - who captures the preference rent?," Working Paper Series 1510, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
  • Handle: RePEc:sus:susewp:1510

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Dimitra Petropoulou & Xavier Cirera & Dirk Willenbockel, 2013. "The Determinants of Outward Processing: Evidence from Offshoring Intermediates by the European Union," Working Paper Series 5413, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.

    More about this item


    Preferential Trade Agreements; Unilateral preference; GSP; EBA; Price margins; Preference rent;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration

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