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Non-Tariff Barriers In Computable General Equilibrium Modelling

  • Marco Fugazza
  • Jean-Christophe Maur

With diminishing tariff s, the focus of trade policy makers and analysts is logically turning towards non-tariff barriers (NTBs), but there much remains to be done. It is well-know that tackling NTBs poses many challenges for the analyst because of their diverse and complex nature, and the lack of available evidence. NTBs pose also particular diffi culties to computable/applied general equilibrium (CGE) modelling, traditionally more comfortable with policies whose impact can be interpreted into direct effects on prices. This research provides a quantifi cation of the impact of NTBs at the global level. The model we use is signifi cantly larger than in previous studies, and to our knowledge, the fi rst truly global one. The main focus of this research, however, is to discuss and question the various treatments of NTBs in CGE models with a specifi c application of the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) standard model, the workhorse of trade policy CGE analysis. We fi nd that serious estimation and modelling eff orts remain to be undertaken in order to make CGE modelling a useful policy tool to analyze NTBs. Casual policy inferences from loose specifi cations may indeed lead to serious analytical mistakes. We show that while using the same robust estimates of NTB incidence we obtain vastly diff erent results under diff erent model specifications.

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Paper provided by United Nations Conference on Trade and Development in its series UNCTAD Blue Series Papers with number 38.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:unc:blupap:38
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  1. Hiau Looi Kee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2008. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 666-682, November.
  2. Scott McDonald & Sherman Robinson & Karen Thierfelder, 2005. "A SAM Based Global CGE Model using GTAP Data January 2005," Working Papers 2005001, The University of Sheffield, Department of Economics, revised Jan 2005.
  3. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  4. W. Hertel, Thomas, 2001. "Dynamic Effects of the “New Age” Free Trade Agreement between Japan and Singapore," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 16, pages 446-484.
  5. Hertel, Thomas, . "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books 7685, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
  6. Krueger, Anne O, 1974. "The Political Economy of the Rent-Seeking Society," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(3), pages 291-303, June.
  7. Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S. & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "Saving two in a billion: : quantifying the trade effect of European food safety standards on African exports," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 495-514, October.
  8. Roberts, Donna & Josling, Timothy E. & Orden, David, 1999. "A Framework for Analyzing Technical Trade Barriers in Agricultural Markets," Technical Bulletins 33560, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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