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Dynamics and Discriminatory Import Policy

  • To, Ted
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Although the General Agreement on Trade and Tariffs prohibits discriminatory import tariffs, GATT rules include means by which this prohibition can be circumvented. The previous literature use static models to show that discriminatory tariffs increase welfare. In a dynamic model, this is not necessarily true. For example, with consumer switching costs, current market share is valuable. In this case, discriminatory tariffs are higher for firms with a higher market share. In expectation of such policies, firms price less aggressively. If switching costs are significant relative to exporting country asymmetries then this adverse affect on incentives can result in lower importing country welfare. This suggests that it might be in the interests of importers to abide by the GATT MFN principle.

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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR), University of Warwick in its series CSGR Working papers series with number 07/98.

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Date of creation: May 1998
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wck:wckewp:07/98
Contact details of provider: Postal: Centre for the Study of Globalisation and Regionalisation (CSGR) University of Warwick Coventry CV4 7AL, U.K.
Phone: +44 (0) 1203 572 533
Fax: +44 (0) 1203 572 548
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  1. Hong Hwang & Chao-Cheng Mai, 1991. "Optimum Discriminatory Tariffs under Oligopolistic Competition," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 24(3), pages 693-702, August.
  2. Jonathan Eaton & Gene M. Grossman, 1983. "Optimal Trade and Industrial Policy Under Oligopoly," NBER Working Papers 1236, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Gatsios, Konstantine, 1990. "Preferential tariffs and the 'most favoured nation' principle: A note," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3-4), pages 365-373, May.
  4. To, Theodore, 1994. "Export subsidies and oligopoly with switching costs," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 37(1-2), pages 97-110, August.
  5. Gene Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1994. "Foreign Investment with Endogenous Protection," NBER Working Papers 4876, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Klemperer, Paul, 1995. "Competition When Consumers Have Switching Costs: An Overview with Applications to Industrial Organization, Macroeconomics, and International Trade," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 62(4), pages 515-39, October.
  7. Anderson, James E, 1992. "Domino Dumping, I: Competitive Exporters," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 65-83, March.
  8. Gruenspecht, Howard K., 1988. "Dumping and dynamic competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(3-4), pages 225-248, November.
  9. Brander, James A. & Spencer, Barbara J., 1985. "Export subsidies and international market share rivalry," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(1-2), pages 83-100, February.
  10. Paul Klemperer, 1987. "The Competitiveness of Markets with Switching Costs," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 18(1), pages 138-150, Spring.
  11. Bhagwati, Jagdish N. & Brecher, Richard A. & Dinopoulos, Elias & Srinivasan, T. N., 1987. "Quid pro quo foreign investment and welfare : A political-economy-theoretic model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 127-138, October.
  12. Dick, Andrew R, 1991. "Learning by Doing and Dumping in the Semiconductor Industry," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 133-59, April.
  13. Choi, Jay Pil, 1995. "Optimal tariffs and the choice of technology Discriminatory tariffs vs. the 'Most Favored Nation' clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 38(1-2), pages 143-160, February.
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