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Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation: How Country Numbers Matter

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  • Ben Zissimos

    (Department of Economics, Vanderbilt University)

Abstract

This paper identifies a new terms-of-trade externality that is exercised through tariff setting. A North-South model of international trade is introduced in which the number of countries in each region can be varied. As the number of countries in one region is increased, each government there competes more aggressively with the others in its region, by lowering its tariff, to attract imports from the other region. In doing so, all countries in a region exert a negative terms-of-trade externality on each other, collectively undermining their own terms of trade and welfare. This externality can increase efficiency if the numbers of countries in both regions are increased simultaneously.

Suggested Citation

  • Ben Zissimos, 2009. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation: How Country Numbers Matter," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0904, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:van:wpaper:0904
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    Cited by:

    1. Chattopadhyay, Subir & Mitka, Malgorzata M., 2019. "Nash equilibrium in tariffs in a multi-country trade model," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 84(C), pages 225-242.
    2. Zissimos, Ben, 2009. "Optimum tariffs and retaliation: How country numbers matter," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 78(2), pages 276-286, July.
    3. Minwook Kang, 2018. "Comparative advantage and strategic specialization," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 1-19, February.
    4. Jungran Cho & Emma Kyoungseo Hong & Jeongho Yoo & Inkyo Cheong, 2020. "The Impact of Global Protectionism on Port Logistics Demand," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(4), pages 1-17, February.
    5. Dubey, Ram Sewak & Kang, Minwook, 2020. "Industrial subsidy policy and the optimal level of specialization," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 91(C), pages 81-88.
    6. Yoshitomo Ogawa, 2012. "The structure of Nash equilibrium tariffs," Economic Theory, Springer;Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory (SAET), vol. 51(1), pages 139-161, September.
    7. Rabah Amir & Jim Y. Jin & Michael Troege, 2022. "On the limits of free trade in a Cournot world: When are restrictions on trade beneficial?," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 55(4), pages 2036-2057, November.
    8. Rabah Amir & Hend Ghazzai & Rim Lahmandi-Ayed, 2023. "On the political economy of economic integration," Social Choice and Welfare, Springer;The Society for Social Choice and Welfare, vol. 61(1), pages 61-100, July.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Comparative statics; efficiency; North-South; tariff war; terms of trade;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F02 - International Economics - - General - - - International Economic Order and Integration
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • C72 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Noncooperative Games

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