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Trade policy options for Chile : a quantitative evaluation

  • Harrison, Glenn W.
  • Rutherford, Thomas F.
  • Tarr, David G.

Chile is currently evaluating a wide range of possible trade policies. Using a global computable general equilibrium model, the authors examine a range of trade policy and complementary tax policy options for Chile. They focus on Chile's principal preferential trade policy options: a free-trade area with MERCOSUR, a customs union with MERCOSUR, and a free trade area with NAFTA. They also examine such options as complementary tariff reduction with nonpartner countries in combination with implementing the free trade area options; unilateral or global trade liberalization; and the optimum unilateral tariff. Their principal policy conclusions: lowering Chile's tariffs preferentially or multilaterally leads to only small gains as Chile starts with a rather efficient external trade regime, uniform tariffs of 11 percent. Largely because of its efficient uniform tariff, preferential tariff reduction will reduce Chilean welfare through trade diversion, unless Chile can improve its access in the markets of partner countries. NAFTA offers enough access to benefit Chile; MERCOSUR does not, once the trade diversion costs of MERCOSUR are taken into account. Under their preferred-elasticity scenario, Chile can convert the MERCOSUR agreement from a loss to a gain if it lowers its external tariff to between 6 and 8 percent. Doing so will also increase the gains from a potential agreement with NAFTA. Chile's current value-added tax imposes distortionary costs because collection rates are nor uniform. Chile will gain if it can collect the VAT more uniformly. Tariff reductions from trade reform will require an increase in domestic taxes, so greater uniformity in domestic taxes (less distortion in replacement taxes) will maximize the benefits from trade reform. Welfare will be improved by moving toward unifromity in the VAT and lowering the Chilean tariff to between 6 and 8 percent. This model ignores dynamic gains from trade liberalization, the result of importing either a greater variety of products or more technologically advanced products.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1783.

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Date of creation: 30 Jun 1997
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1783
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  1. Miller, Marcus H & Spencer, John E, 1977. "The Static Economic Effects of the UK Joining the EEC: A General Equilibrium Approach," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 44(1), pages 71-93, February.
  2. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Wooton, Ian, 1989. "The Economic Impact of the European Community," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 288-94, May.
  3. Shah, Anwar & Whalley, John, 1991. "Tax Incidence Analysis of Developing Countries: An Alternative View," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 5(3), pages 535-52, September.
  4. Wooton, Ian, 1986. "Preferential trading agreements: An investigation," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 81-97, August.
  5. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Wooton, Ian, 1991. "An Empirical Database for a General Equilibrium Model of the European Communities," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 16(1), pages 95-120.
  6. Harberger, Arnold C, 1971. "Three Basic Postulates for Applied Welfare Economics: An Interpretive Essay," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 785-97, September.
  7. Riedel, James, 1988. "The Demand for LDC Exports of Manufactures: Estimates from Hong Kong," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 98(389), pages 138-48, March.
  8. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1997. "Economic implications for Turkey of a Customs Union with the European Union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 861-870, April.
  9. Harrison, Glenn W & Vinod, H D, 1992. "The Sensitivity Analysis of Applied General Equilibrium Models: Completely Randomized Factorial Sampling Designs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 74(2), pages 357-62, May.
  10. Athukorala, Premachandra & Riedel, James, 1994. "Demand and Supply Factors in the Determination of NIE Exports: A Simultaneous Error-Correction Model for Hong Kong: A Comment," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 104(427), pages 1411-14, November.
  11. Harrison, Glenn W. & Jones, Richard & Kimbell, Larry J. & Wigle, Randal, 1993. "How robust is applied general equilibrium analysis?," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 99-115, February.
  12. Juan Eduardo Coeymans & Felipe Larraín, 1994. "Efectos de un Acuerdo de Libre Comercio entre Chile y Estados Unidos: Un Enfoque de Equilibrio General," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 31(94), pages 357-400.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521319867 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. Glenn W. Harrison & Thomas F. Rutherford & Ian Wooton, 1993. "An Alternative Welfare Decomposition for Customs Unions," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(4), pages 961-68, November.
  15. Reinert, Kenneth A. & Roland-Holst, David W., 1992. "Armington elasticities for United States manufacturing sectors," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 14(5), pages 631-639, October.
  16. Hammond, Peter J & Sempere, Jaime, 1995. "Limits to the Potential Gains from Economic Integration and Other Supply Side Policies," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 105(432), pages 1180-1204, September.
  17. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Tarr, David G, 1993. "Trade Reform in the Partially Liberalized Economy of Turkey," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(2), pages 191-217, May.
  18. Valdes, A, 1996. "Surveillance of Agricultural Price and Trade Policy in Latin America during Major Policy Reform," World Bank - Discussion Papers 349, World Bank.
  19. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Tarr, David G, 1997. "Quantifying the Uruguay Round," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1405-30, September.
  20. Wonnacott, Paul & Wonnacott, Ronald, 1981. "Is Unilateral Tariff Reduction Preferable to a Customs Union? The Curious Case of the Missing Foreign Tariffs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(4), pages 704-14, September.
  21. Bond, Eric, 1997. "Using tariff indices to evaluate preferential trading arrangements : an application to Chile," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1751, The World Bank.
  22. Clinton R. Shiells & Kenneth A. Reinert, 1993. "Armington Models and Terms-of-Trade Effects: Some Econometric Evidence for North America," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 26(2), pages 299-316, May.
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