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Trade policy, cross-border externalities and lobbies: do linked agreements enforce more cooperative outcomes?

  • Nuno Limão

    (University of Maryland)

If, in international agreements, governments “link'' trade to environmental policy (or other issues with non-pecuniary externalities), will this promote more cooperation in both policies or will cooperation in one policy be strengthened at the expense of the other? We analyze this question in the context of self-enforcing agreements. We show that if the two policies are independent in the government's objective function then linkage -- the ability to use both policies to punish non- compliance in either individual agreement -- promotes cooperation in one policy at the expense of the other (e.g. strengthens environmental standards at the expense of higher tariffs). However, if the linked policies are not independent in the governments' objective function (e.g. a tariff on cars and an environmental tax on oil) and if these policies are strategic complements then linkage promotes more cooperation in both issues (higher environmental standards and lower tariffs) than no-linkage. The policies are strategic complements only if: (i) the production externality has cross-border effects; (ii) the weight on the externality cost is high; (iii) import competing lobbies are not “powerful''.

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File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/it/papers/0206/0206002.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0206002.

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Length: 50 pages
Date of creation: 26 Jun 2002
Date of revision: 28 Jul 2002
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0206002
Note: Type of Document - Acrobat PDF; prepared on PC; pages: 50; figures: included
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

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