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Trade liberalization and endogenous growth in a small open economy : a quantitative assessment

  • Rutherford, Thomas F.
  • Tarr, David G.

The authors develop a numerical endogenous growth model approximating an infinite horizon, which allows them to investigate the relationship between trade liberalization and economic growth. Economic theory generally implies that trade liberalization will improve economic growth, and the two phenomena are positively correlated in empirical tests, but the connection is not well-substantiated in numerical general equilibrium models. In the authors'model, an intermediate input affects aggregate output through a Dixit-Stiglitz function. Additional varieties provide the engine of growth in this framework and the existence of this mechanism magnifies the welfare costs. In this model with lump sum revenue replacement, reducing a tariff from 20 percent to 10 percent produces a welfare increase (in terms of Hicksian equivalent variation over the infinite horizon) of 10.7 percent of the present value of consumption in their central model, where the economy is assumed to be unable to borrow on international financial markets. If macroeconomic and financial reforms are in place that would allow international borrowing, however, the same tariff cut is estimated to result in a 37 percent increase in Hicksian equivalent variation. On the other hand, if inefficient replacement taxes must be used in an economy without the capacity to borrow internationally, the gains would be reduced to 4.7 percent. Larger tariff cuts--typical of those in many developing countries over the past 30 years--produce larger estimated welfare gains at least proportionate to the size of the cut. The authors apply the model to five developing countries and estimate the impact of the tariff changes those countries plan to undertake as part of Uruguay Round commitments. Because of the dynamic effects, estimated gains are considerably larger than those found in the literature on the impact of the Uruguay Round.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1970.

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Date of creation: 30 Sep 1998
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1970
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  1. de Melo, Jaime & Tarr, David, 1990. "Welfare Costs of U.S. Quotas in Textiles, Steel and Autos," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 489-97, August.
  2. Morris Morkre & David Tarr, 1995. "Reforming Hungarian agricultural trade policy: A quantitative evaluation," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 131(1), pages 106-131, March.
  3. Keller, W., 1996. "Trade and the Transmission of Technology," Working papers 9620, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  4. 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.
  5. Mercenier, J. & Michel, P., 1991. "Discrete Time Finite Horizon Approximation of Optimal Growth with Steady State Invariance," Cahiers de recherche 9122, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
  6. 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.
  7. de Melo, Jaime & Tarr, David, 1993. "Industrial Policy in the Presence of Wage Distortions: The Case of the U.S. Auto and Steel Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(4), pages 833-51, November.
  8. Feenstra, R. & Markusen, J.R., 1991. "Accounting for Growth with New Inputs," Papers 380, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
  9. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1975. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 64, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
  10. Segerstrom, Paul S & Anant, T C A & Dinopoulos, Elias, 1990. "A Schumpeterian Model of the Product Life Cycle," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1077-91, December.
  11. Mercenier, J. & Michel, P., 1995. "Temporal Aggregation in a Multi-Sector Economy with Endogenous Growth," Cahiers de recherche 9540, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
  12. Romer, Paul M, 1987. "Growth Based on Increasing Returns Due to Specialization," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(2), pages 56-62, May.
  13. James R. Markusen, 1990. "First Mover Advantages, Blockaded Entry, And the Economics of Uneven Development," NBER Working Papers 3284, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Harris, Richard, 1984. "Applied General Equilibrium Analysis of Small Open Economies with Scale Economies and Imperfect Competition," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 1016-32, December.
  15. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1996. "Economic implications for Turkey of a customs union with the European Union," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1599, The World Bank.
  16. Richard E. Baldwin & Joseph F. Francois & Richard Portes, 1997. "The costs and benefits of eastern enlargement: the impact on the EU and central Europe," Economic Policy, CEPR;CES;MSH, vol. 12(24), pages 125-176, 04.
  17. Peter Klenow & Andrés Rodríguez-Clare, 1997. "The Neoclassical Revival in Growth Economics: Has It Gone Too Far?," NBER Chapters, in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 1997, Volume 12, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Markusen, James R, 1989. "Trade in Producer Services and in Other Specialized Intermediate Inputs," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(1), pages 85-95, March.
  19. 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.
  20. Dani Rodrik, 1992. "The Limits of Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 87-105, Winter.
  21. Thomas F. Rutherford & David G. Tarr, 2003. "Regional Trading Arrangements for Chile: do the Results Differ with a Dynamic Model?," Economie Internationale, CEPII research center, issue 94-95, pages 261-281.
  22. Ethier, Wilfred J, 1982. "National and International Returns to Scale in the Modern Theory of International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 389-405, June.
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