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Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence

Kyle Handley

Journal of International Economics, 2014, vol. 94, issue 1, 50-66

Abstract: I provide novel evidence for the impact of trade policy uncertainty on exporters. In a dynamic, heterogeneous firms model, trade policy uncertainty will delay the entry of exporters into new markets and make them less responsive to applied tariff reductions. Policy instruments that reduce or eliminate uncertainty, such as binding trade policy commitments at the WTO, increase entry. The predictions are tested on disaggregated, product-level Australian imports with model-consistent measures of uncertainty. The estimates show that growth of exporter–product varieties would have been 7% lower between 1993 and 2001 without the binding commitments implemented after the WTO was formed in 1996. If Australia reduced all its tariffs and bindings to zero, more than half of predicted product growth is accounted by removing uncertainty. These results illuminate and quantify an important new channel for trade creation.

Keywords: Policy uncertainty; Trade; World Trade Organization; Bindings (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D8 F1 F4 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2014
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Working Paper: Exporting under Trade Policy Uncertainty: Theory and Evidence (2012) Downloads
Working Paper: Exporting under trade policy uncertainty: Theory and evidence (2011) Downloads
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