IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Time Inconsistency of Trade Policy and Multilateralism

  • Mohammad Amin

In this paper we address the issue of multilateralism versus bilateralism in a situation where a home government's optimal policy is time-inconsistent and the time-consistent policy sub-optimal. Short-run production and wage rigidities create incentive for the government to surprise private agents, ex post, with excessive protection. The problem is shown to be particularly severe when the intended beneficiaries (members of the lobby) cannot coordinate on their (investment) decisions fully. A commitment to multilateral free trade may then be welfare enhancing and politically feasible. However, once a discriminatory Preferential Trade Agreement is formed, it undermines any incentive for further multilateral trade liberalization. Thus, we propose another reason why Article XXIV of GATT/WTO may be a stumbling bloc for wider multilateral trade liberalization. Our result is based on the trade deflection effect and the market power effect of Preferential Trade Agreements.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL: http://econwpa.repec.org/eps/it/papers/0402/0402002.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series International Trade with number 0402002.

as
in new window

Length: 61 pages
Date of creation: 05 Feb 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0402002
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on Win98; pages: 61
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://econwpa.repec.org

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. McLaren, John, 1997. "Size, Sunk Costs, and Judge Bowker's Objection to Free Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(3), pages 400-420, June.
  2. Matsuyama, Kiminori, 1990. "Perfect Equilibria in a Trade Liberalization Game," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 480-92, June.
  3. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Robert W. Staiger, 1994. "International Rules and Institutions for Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 4962, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Regionalism and Multilateral Tariff Cooperation," NBER Working Papers 5921, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Bond, Eric W. & Syropoulos, Constantinos & Winters, L. Alan, 2001. "Deepening of regional integration and multilateral trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 335-361, April.
  7. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation during the Formation of Customs Unions," NBER Working Papers 4543, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brainard, S. Lael & Verdier, Thierry, 1997. "The political economy of declining industries: Senescent industry collapse revisited," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(1-2), pages 221-237, February.
  9. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldbe & Giovanni Maggi, 1997. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," NBER Working Papers 5942, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. David M. Gould, 1992. "Free trade agreements and the credibility of trade reforms," Economic and Financial Policy Review, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, issue Q I, pages 17-27.
  11. Pravin Krishna, 1998. "Regionalism And Multilateralism: A Political Economy Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 113(1), pages 227-250, February.
  12. Kyle Bagwell & Petros C. Mavroidis & Robert W. Staiger, 2003. "The Case for Auctioning Countermeasures in the WTO," NBER Working Papers 9920, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Grossman, G.M. & Helpman, E., 1992. "Trade Wars and Trade Talks," Papers 163, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Public and International Affairs.
  14. Giovanni Maggi & Andres Rodriguez-Clare, 1998. "The Value of Trade Agreements in the Presence of Political Pressures," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 106(3), pages 574-601, June.
  15. R. W. Staiger & G. Tabellini, 1999. "Do Gatt Rules Help Governments Make Domestic Commitments?," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(2), pages 109-144, 07.
  16. Bagwell,K. & Staiger,R.W., 1998. "An economic theory of GATT," Working papers 15, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  17. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1999. "Multilateral Trade Negotiations, Bilateral Opportunism and the Rules of GATT," NBER Working Papers 7071, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Staiger, Robert W & Tabellini, Guido, 1987. "Discretionary Trade Policy and Excessive Protection," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 77(5), pages 823-37, December.
  19. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1981. "Theoretical Considerations on Negotiated Tariff Adjustments," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 33(1), pages 135-53, March.
  20. Lapan, Harvey E., 1988. "The Optimal Tariff, Production Lags and Time Consistency," Staff General Research Papers 10816, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  21. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1997. "Reciprocity, Non-discrimination and Preferential Agreements in the Multilateral Trading System," NBER Working Papers 5932, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Kydland, Finn E & Prescott, Edward C, 1977. "Rules Rather Than Discretion: The Inconsistency of Optimal Plans," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 85(3), pages 473-91, June.
  23. John Kennan & Raymond Riezman, 2013. "Do Big Countries Win Tariff Wars?," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: International Trade Agreements and Political Economy, chapter 4, pages 45-51 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
  24. McCalman, Phillip, 2002. "Multi-lateral trade negotiations and the Most Favored Nation clause," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(1), pages 151-176, June.
  25. Bond, Eric W & Park, Jee-Hyeong, 2002. "Gradualism in Trade Agreements with Asymmetric Countries," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(2), pages 379-406, April.
  26. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 2004. "The Economics of the World Trading System," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262524341, June.
  27. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1989. "A Theory of Managed Trade," Discussion Papers 801, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  28. Levy, Philip I, 1997. "A Political-Economic Analysis of Free-Trade Agreements," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(4), pages 506-19, September.
  29. Syropoulos, Constantinos, 2002. "Optimum Tariffs and Retaliation Revisited: How Country Size Matters," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 69(3), pages 707-27, July.
  30. Richardson, Martin, 1995. "Tariff revenue competition in a free trade area," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 1429-1437, August.
  31. Kyle Bagwell & Robert W. Staiger, 1993. "Multilateral Tariff Cooperation During the Formation of Free Trade Areas," Discussion Papers 1048, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  32. Ronald Findlay & Stanislaw Wellisz, 1982. "Endogenous Tariffs, the Political Economy of Trade Restrictions, and Welfare," NBER Chapters, in: Import Competition and Response, pages 223-244 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. Rodney D. Ludema, 1998. "On the Value of Preferential Trade Agreements in Multilateral Negotiations," International Trade 9802003, EconWPA.
  34. Richardson, Martin, 1993. "Endogenous protection and trade diversion," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3-4), pages 309-324, May.
  35. Brainard, S Lael, 1994. "Last One Out Wins: Trade Policy in an International Exit Game," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 151-72, February.
  36. Baldwin, Richard, 1987. "Politically realistic objective functions and trade policy PROFs and tariffs," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 287-290.
  37. Mitra, Devashish, 2002. "Endogenous political organization and the value of trade agreements," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 57(2), pages 473-485, August.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0402002. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (EconWPA)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.