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Trade policy uncertainty as barrier to trade

Author

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  • Osnago, Alberto
  • Piermartini, Roberta
  • Rocha, Nadia

Abstract

This paper studies the effects of trade policy uncertainty on the extensive and the intensive margins of trade for a sample of 149 exporters at the HS6 digit level. We measure trade policy uncertainty as the gap between binding tariff commitments under trade agreements (multilateral and regional agreements) and applied tariffs- what is also known as tariffs' water. Our results show that trade policy uncertainty is an important barrier to export. On average the elimination of water increases the probability of exporting by 12 percent. A one percent decrease of water also increases export volumes by one percent. We also find that the negative impact of trade policy uncertainty is higher for countries with low quality of institutions and in the presence of global value chains. Finally, our findings show that on average trade policy uncertainty is equivalent to a level of tariffs between 1.7 and 8.7 percentage points.

Suggested Citation

  • Osnago, Alberto & Piermartini, Roberta & Rocha, Nadia, 2015. "Trade policy uncertainty as barrier to trade," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2015-05, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:wtowps:ersd201505
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    5. Nuno Limão & Giovanni Maggi, 2015. "Uncertainty and Trade Agreements," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(4), pages 1-42, November.
    6. Kyle Handley & Nuno Limão, 2018. "Trade and Investment under Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Firm Evidence," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: Policy Externalities and International Trade Agreements, chapter 4, pages 89-122, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    7. Handley, Kyle, 2014. "Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 94(1), pages 50-66.
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    Cited by:

    1. Gnangnon, Sena Kimm, 2020. "Tariff Volatility and Tariff Policy in Developed and Developing Countries," EconStor Preprints 223302, ZBW - Leibniz Information Centre for Economics.
    2. Rosalyn Perkins & Mary Caroline Castaño & Condrad Montemayor, 2018. "Analysis of predictability and accountability transparency practices and FTA on trade growth in selected countries of the Asia-Pacific region: a descriptive-causal approach," Journal of Economic Structures, Springer;Pan-Pacific Association of Input-Output Studies (PAPAIOS), vol. 7(1), pages 1-18, December.
    3. Beestermöller, Matthias & Disdier, Anne-Célia & Fontagné, Lionel, 2018. "Impact of European food safety border inspections on agri-food exports: Evidence from Chinese firms," China Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 48(C), pages 66-82.
    4. Piermartini, Roberta & Yotov, Yoto, 2016. "Estimating Trade Policy Effects with Structural Gravity," School of Economics Working Paper Series 2016-10, LeBow College of Business, Drexel University.
    5. Roy, Martin, 2019. "Elevating services: Services trade policy, WTO commitments, and their role in economic development and trade integration," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2019-01, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    6. Gnutzmann-Mkrtchyan, Arevik & Henn, Christian, 2018. "Peeling away the layers: Impacts of durable tariff elimination," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 259-276.
    7. Douch, Mustapha & Edwards, T.Huw & Soegaard, Christian, 2018. "The Trade Effects of the Brexit Announcement Shock," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1176, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    binding overhang; tariffs; policy space; non-tariff barriers; World Trade Organization;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade

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