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Welfare versus market access : the implications of tariff structure for tariff reform

  • James E. Anderson
  • J. Peter Neary

We show that the effects of tariff changes on welfare and import volume can be fully characterised by their effects on the generalised mean and variance of the tariff distribution. Using these tools, we derive new results for welfare- and market-access-improving tariff changes, which imply two "cones of liberalisation" in price space. Because welfare is negatively but import volume positively related to the generalised variance, the cones do not intersect, which poses a dilemma for trade policy reform. Finally, we show that generalised and trade-weighted moments are mutually proportional when the trade expenditure function is CES.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/1266
File Function: First version, 2004
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by School of Economics, University College Dublin in its series Working Papers with number 200423.

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Date of creation: Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ucn:wpaper:200423
Contact details of provider: Postal: UCD, Belfield, Dublin 4
Phone: +353-1-7067777
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Web page: http://www.ucd.ie/economics

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  1. Bruno, Michael, 1972. "Market Distortions and Gradual Reform," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(3), pages 373-83, July.
  2. Anderson, J.E., 1998. "The Mercantilist Index of Trade Policy," Papers 98/13, College Dublin, Department of Political Economy-.
  3. Francois, Joseph & Martin, Will, 2003. "Formula Approaches for Market Access Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 3720, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Robert W. Staiger & Kyle Bagwell, 1999. "An Economic Theory of GATT," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 215-248, March.
  5. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 63(1), pages 107-25, January.
  6. Francois, Joseph F. & Martin, Will, 2004. "Commercial policy variability, bindings, and market access," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(3), pages 665-679, June.
  7. Robert Feenstra, 2004. "Estimating The Effects Of Trade Policy," Working Papers 9510, University of California, Davis, Department of Economics.
  8. Rod Falvey, 1994. "Revenue enhancing tariff reform," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 130(1), pages 175-190, March.
  9. Hiau Looi Kee & Nicita, Alessandro & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 2004. "Import demand elasticities and trade distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3452, The World Bank.
  10. Anderson, James E, 1995. "Tariff-Index Theory," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(2), pages 156-73, June.
  11. J. P. Neary, 1997. "Pitfalls in the theory of international trade policy: concertina reforms of tariffs and subsidies to high technology industries," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 20341, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  12. Fukushima, Takashi, 1979. "Tariff Structure, Nontraded Goods and Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 20(2), pages 427-35, June.
  13. Ju, Jiandong & Krishna, Kala, 2000. "Welfare and market access effects of piecemeal tariff reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 305-316, August.
  14. Foster, Edward & Sonnenschein, Hugo, 1970. "Price Distortion and Economic Welfare," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 38(2), pages 281-97, March.
  15. Neary, J Peter, 1989. "Trade Liberalization and Shadow Prices in the Presence of Tariffs and Quotas," CEPR Discussion Papers 345, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Hatta, Tatsuo, 1977. "A Theory of Piecemeal Policy Recommendations," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 1-21, February.
  17. Diewert, W E & Turunen-Red, A H & Woodland, A D, 1989. "Productivity- and Pareto-Improving Changes in Taxes and Tariffs," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(2), pages 199-215, April.
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