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Trade liberalisation with costly adjustment

  • Alvaro Forteza
  • Rossana Patrón

This paper discusses the welfare effects of trade in a Heckscher-Ohlin model of trade with costs of adjustment. The paper analyses the efficiency and the distributional effects of eliminating a tariff in a formerly protected sector. The tariff can be eliminated at the onset or after a while. In case of postponing the elimination of the tariff, the government may pre-announce the policy change or may not do it and surprise the private sector. It is shown that while large adjustment costs reduce the efficiency gains from trade liberalisation, small to moderate adjustment costs may raise the efficiency gains from a pre-announced liberalisation. The (net) adjustment costs reduce the welfare gains and losses of owners of production factors from a sudden unanticipated liberalisation. The policy risk is partially shifted towards owners of firms. The distributional effects of trade liberalisations are more complex when the policy is pre-announced. The adjustment costs may increase the gains and losses of owners of the production factors, for small and moderate levels. Also, the announcement that the tariff will be eliminated affects the value of the firms, and when the adjustment cost are not high it may raise rather than reduce the value of the firms in the formerly protected sector.

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File URL: http://decon.edu.uy/publica/2001/Doc0901.pdf
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Paper provided by Department of Economics - dECON in its series Documentos de Trabajo (working papers) with number 0901.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ude:wpaper:0901
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  1. Karp, Larry S. & Paul, Thierry, 1993. "Phasing In And Phasing Out Protectionism With Costly Adjustments Of Labour," Working Papers 51112, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  2. Guillermo A. Calvo & Enrique G. Mendoza, 1994. "Trade Reforms of Uncertain Duration and Real Uncertainty: A First Approximation," IMF Staff Papers, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 41(4), pages 555-586, December.
  3. Sargent, Thomas J, 1978. "Estimation of Dynamic Labor Demand Schedules under Rational Expectations," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 86(6), pages 1009-44, December.
  4. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Wolter H. J. Hassink & Jan C. van Ours, 1994. "New Facts About Factor-Demand Dynamics: Employment, Jobs, and Workers," NBER Working Papers 4625, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Hamermesh, Daniel S, 1995. "Labour Demand and the," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(430), pages 620-34, May.
  6. Ramon L. Clarete & Irene Trela & John Whalley, 1994. "Evaluating Labour Adjustment Costs from Trade Shocks: Illustrations for the U.S. Economy Using an Applied General Equilibrium Model With Transactions," NBER Working Papers 4628, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Sebastian Edwards, 1994. "Trade and Industrial Policy Reform in Latin America," NBER Working Papers 4772, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Avinash Dixit, 1992. "Investment and Hysteresis," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 107-132, Winter.
  9. Rothschild, Michael, 1971. "On the Cost of Adjustment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 85(4), pages 605-22, November.
  10. Rui Albuquerque & Sergio Rebelo, 1998. "On the Dynamics of Trade Reform," NBER Working Papers 6700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Daron Acemoglu, 2003. "Patterns of Skill Premia," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 70(2), pages 199-230.
  12. Leamer, Edward E., 1980. "Welfare computations and the optimal staging of tariff reductions in models with adjustment costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 21-36, February.
  13. Edwards, Sebastian, 1988. "Terms of Trade, Tariffs, and Labor Market Adjustment in Developing Countries," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(2), pages 165-85, May.
  14. Falvey, Rod & Kim, Cha Dong, 1992. "Timing and Sequencing Issues in Trade Liberalisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 102(413), pages 908-24, July.
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