IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Conditional versus Unconditional Trade Concessions for Developing Countries

  • Paola Conconi
  • Carlo Perroni

We consider a small open economy that faces a commitment problem in trade liberalization. We examine how the relationship with a large trading partner affects the ability of the small countrys government to sustain free trade through a reputational mechanism. If the small country’s government is patient enough, it can overcome its domestic commitment without the help of the large country. Unconditional liberalization by the large trading partner has an ambiguous effect on the small countrys dynamic incentives. Liberalization through a reciprocal trade agreement, in which the large country lowers its tariffs conditionally on the small country doing the same, unambiguously dominates unconditional liberalization by the large country as a way of boosting trade reforms and reinforcing policy credibility in the small country. However, if capacity in the import-competing sector can only be re- duced gradually, a conditional, reciprocal agreement may require an asynchronous exchange of concessions, with the large country liberalizing before the small country.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: tradeconcessions
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles in its series ULB Institutional Repository with number 2013/98541.

in new window

Date of creation: 2012
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in: Canadian journal of economics (2012) v.45,p.613-631
Handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/98541
Contact details of provider: Postal:
CP135, 50, avenue F.D. Roosevelt, 1050 Bruxelles

Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2004. "The Economics of Special and Differential Trade Regimes," CEPR Discussion Papers 4508, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Richard Chisik, 2010. "Gradualism in Free Trade Agreements: A Theoretical Justification," Working Papers 018, Ryerson University, Department of Economics.
  3. van Damme, Eric, 1989. "Renegotiation-proof equilibria in repeated prisoners' dilemma," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 47(1), pages 206-217, February.
  4. André Sapir & Henrik H. Horn & Petros Mavroidis, 2010. "Beyond the WTO ?An Anatomy of EU and US Preferential Trade Agreements," ULB Institutional Repository 2013/174319, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  5. Furusawa, Taiji & Lai, Edwin L. -C., 1999. "Adjustment costs and gradual trade liberalization," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 333-361, December.
  6. John Whalley, 1996. "Why Do Countries Seek Regional Trade Agreements?," NBER Working Papers 5552, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Richard E. Baldwin & Frederic Robert-Nicoud, 2002. "Entry and Asymmetric Lobbying: Why Governments Pick Losers," NBER Working Papers 8756, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. McCulloch, Rachel & Pinera, Jose, 1977. "Trade as Aid: The Political Economy of Tariff Preferences for Developing Countries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(5), pages 959-67, December.
  9. Conconi, Paola & Perroni, Carlo, 2009. "Do credible domestic institutions promote credible international agreements?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 160-170, September.
  10. Green, Edward J. & Porter, Robert H., 1982. "Noncooperative Collusion Under Imperfect Price Information," Working Papers 367, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  11. Carlo Perroni & John Whalley, 2000. "The new regionalism: trade liberalization or insurance?," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 33(1), pages 1-24, February.
  12. de Melo, Jaime & Grether, Jean-Marie & Olarreaga, Marcelo, 1999. "Who Determines Mexican Trade Policy?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2176, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Emanuel Ornelas, 2005. "Rent Destruction and the Political Viability of Free Trade Agreements," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 120(4), pages 1475-1506.
  14. Coates, Daniel E. & Ludema, Rodney D., 2001. "A theory of trade policy leadership," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-29, June.
  15. Perroni, Carlo & Whalley, John, 1996. "How Severe Is Global Retaliation Risk under Increasing Regionalism?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 86(2), pages 57-61, May.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ulb:ulbeco:2013/98541. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benoit Pauwels)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.