Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
  • Publication
    Measuring the restrictiveness of trade policy
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 1993-03-31) ;
  • Publication
    The coefficient of trade utilization : back to the Baldwin Envelope
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 1989-04) ;
    We define a distance function appropriate to the quantitative evaluation of trade reform, the coefficient of trade utilization. It is the natural measure for quota reform, and has theoretical and practical advantages over the standard tariff equivalent/consumer surplus method. We illustrate its properties by stating observable and very general measures of the welfare effects of trade reform.
  • Publication
    A new approach to evaluating trade reform
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 1988-07) ;
    Dual methods are awkward to use for quota reform analysis. This paper develops a distance function concept (Deaton (1979)) relevant to trade distortions: the Distorted Trade Distance Function. It has the great advantage of being a minimum value function, permitting the use of standard techniques for easy achievement of general positive and normative results in the evaluation of trade reform. Quotas are the predominant means of protection in developed countries and distance function methods are the natural method for their analysis. We also define an operational general equilibrium distance measure, the coefficient of trade utilization.
  • Publication
    A new approach to evaluating trade policy
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 1991-11-25) ;
    This paper introduces a new measure, the Trade Restrictiveness Index, which measures the restrictiveness of a system of trade protection. The index is a general equilibrium application of the distance function and answers the question: `What uniform set of trade restrictions is equivalent (in welfare terms) to the initial protective structure?' The index is applicable to both tariffs and quotas and allows international and intertemporal comparisons. The index is operational and we provide an empirical example to illustrate its applicability and to show its superiority to commonly used measures.
  • Publication
    The mercantilist index of trade policy
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2001-07-11) ;
    We introduce an index of trade policy restrictiveness defined as the uniform tariff which maintains the same trade volume as a given tariff/quota structure. Our index overcomes the problems of the trade-weighted average tariff: it avoids substitution bias, correctly accounts for general equilibrium transfers, and takes import volume rather than welfare as benchmark. Empirical applications to international cross-section and time-series comparisons of trade policy confirm our theoretical results: trade-weighted average tariffs generally underestimate the true height of tariffs as measured by the trade-volume-equivalent index; this in turn always underestimates the welfare-equivalent index.
  • Publication
    Welfare versus market access : the implications of tariff structure for tariff reform
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2004-09) ;
    We show that the effects of tariff changes on welfare and import volume can be fully characterised by their effects on the generalised mean and variance of the tariff distribution. Using these tools, we derive new results for welfare- and market-access-improving tariff changes, which imply two "cones of liberalisation" in price space. Because welfare is negatively but import volume positively related to the generalised variance, the cones do not intersect, which poses a dilemma for trade policy reform. Finally, we show that generalised and trade-weighted moments are mutually proportional when the trade expenditure function is CES.
  • Publication
    Domestic distortions and international trade
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 1992-12-15) ;
    In this paper, we investigate techniques for measuring the trade policy equivalent of domestic distortions, using a distance function approach. Our measure, the Trade Restrictiveness Index, is shown to equal the uniform tariff which is welfare-equivalent to a given pattern of domestic taxes and subsidies. We extend the Index to incorporate taxes in markets for non-traded goods and factors of production and illustrates its operationality with an application to liberalisation in Mexican agriculture. We conclude that our Index has considerable potential in empirical work and as an aid to trade negotiations.