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Informationally Efficient Trade Barriers

Author

Listed:
  • Andrea Moro

    (University of Minnesota)

  • Matthew F. Mitchell

    (University of Iowa)

Abstract

Why are trade barriers often used to protect home producers, even at the cost of introducing deadweight losses from higher commodity prices? We add an informational friction to the standard textbook argument in favor of free trade, and show that trade restrictions may be a more effcient policy than a lump sum transfer to the displaced producers. Trade barriers, while generating deadweight losses, have the benefit that they do not generate a need for compensation. When the policy maker does not know the amount that should be transferred, the risk of over- compensating may make trade barrier more efficient.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrea Moro & Matthew F. Mitchell, 2005. "Informationally Efficient Trade Barriers," Public Economics 0503004, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwppe:0503004
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 19
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    File URL: https://econwpa.ub.uni-muenchen.de/econ-wp/pe/papers/0503/0503004.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert C. Feenstra & Tracy R. Lewis, 1991. "Distributing The Gains From Trade With Incomplete Information," Economics and Politics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 3(1), pages 21-39, March.
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    3. Mookherjee, Dilip & Png, I P L, 1994. "Marginal Deterrence in Enforcement of Law," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 102(5), pages 1039-1066, October.
    4. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    5. Reinganum, Jennifer F. & Wilde, Louis L., 1985. "Income tax compliance in a principal-agent framework," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 1-18, February.
    6. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-985, December.
    7. Mayer, Wolfgang & Riezman, Raymond G., 1987. "Endogenous choice of trade policy instruments," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(3-4), pages 377-381, November.
    8. Coate, Stephen & Morris, Stephen, 1995. "On the Form of Transfers in Special Interests," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 103(6), pages 1210-1235, December.
    9. Davidson, Carl & Matusz, Steven J. & Nelson, Douglas R., 2007. "Can compensation save free trade?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 167-186, March.
    10. Devashish Mitra, 1999. "Endogenous Lobby Formation and Endogenous Protection: A Long-Run Model of Trade Policy Determination," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1116-1134, December.
    11. Magee, Christopher, 2003. "Endogenous tariffs and trade adjustment assistance," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 203-222, May.
    12. Fernandez, Raquel & Rodrik, Dani, 1991. "Resistance to Reform: Status Quo Bias in the Presence of Individual-Specific Uncertainty," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 81(5), pages 1146-1155, December.
    13. Rodrik, Dani, 1995. "Political economy of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 28, pages 1457-1494 Elsevier.
    14. Townsend, Robert M., 1979. "Optimal contracts and competitive markets with costly state verification," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 21(2), pages 265-293, October.
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    Cited by:

    1. Matthew F. Mitchell & Andrea Moro, 2006. "Persistent Distortionary Policies with Asymmetric Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(1), pages 387-393, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Trade barriers; Distortionary policies;

    JEL classification:

    • D6 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics
    • D7 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making
    • H - Public Economics

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