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Trade Liberalization in General Equilibrium: Intertemporal and Inter-Industry Effects

  • Lawrence H. Goulder and Barry Eichengreen.

This paper uses a dynamic computable general equilibrium model to simulate the effects of unilateral reductions by the U.S. in tariffs and "voluntary" export restraints (VER's). We consider 50 percent cuts in tariffs and in ad valorem VER equivalents, separately and in combination. The model features intertemporal optimization by households and firms, explicit adjustment dynamics, an integrated treatment of the current and capital accounts of the balance of payments, and industry disaggregation. Central findings include: (1) VER's are considerably more significant than tariffs in terms of the magnitude of the macroeconomic effects induced by their reduction; (2) while VER reductions enhance domestic welfare, unilateral tariff cuts reduce domestic welfare (as a consequence of U.S. monopsony power and associated adverse terms of trade effects); (3) international capital movements critically regulate the responses of the U.S. and foreign economies to these trade initiatives and produce significant differences between short and long-run effects; and (4) effects differ substantially across industries. Together, these findings indicate that simulation analyses that disregard international capital movements, adjustment dynamics, and industry differences may generate seriously misleading results.

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Paper provided by University of California at Berkeley in its series Economics Working Papers with number 89-110.

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Date of creation: 01 May 1989
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Handle: RePEc:ucb:calbwp:89-110
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Web page: http://www.haas.berkeley.edu/groups/iber/wps/econwp.htmlEmail:


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  3. Ishii, Naoko & McKibbin, Warwick & Sachs, Jeffrey, 1985. "The economic policy mix, policy cooperation, and protectionism: Some aspects of macroeconomic interdependence among the United States, Japan, and other OECD countries," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 533-572.
  4. Randall Wigle, 1988. "General Equilibrium Evaluation of Canada-U.S. Trade Liberalization in a Global Context," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 21(3), pages 539-64, August.
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  7. Goulder, Lawrence H. & Summers, Lawrence H., 1989. "Tax policy, asset prices, and growth : A general equilibrium analysis," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(3), pages 265-296, April.
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  13. Lawrence H. Goulder & Barry Eichengreen, 1989. "Savings Promotion, Investment Promotion, and International Competitiveness," NBER Chapters, in: Trade Policies for International Competitiveness, pages 5-52 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Russell S. Boyer, 1977. "Commercial Policy under Alternative Exchange Rate Regimes," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 218-32, May.
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  19. Mussa, Michael, 1978. "Dynamic Adjustment in the Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson Model," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(5), pages 775-91, October.
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