Now showing 1 - 2 of 2
  • 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.