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Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions

Hiau Looi Kee (), Alessandro Nicita and Marcelo Olarreaga ()

No 4669, CEPR Discussion Papers from C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers

Abstract: To study the effects of tariffs on GDP one needs import demand elasticities at the tariff line level that are consistent with GDP maximization. These do not exist. We modify Kohli’s (1991) GDP function approach to estimate demand elasticities for 4625 imported goods in 117 countries. Following Anderson and Neary (1992, 1994) and Feenstra (1995), we use these estimates to construct theoretically-sound trade restrictiveness indices (TRIs) and GDP losses associated with existing tariff structures. Countries are revealed to be 30% more restrictive than their simple or import-weighted average tariffs would suggest. Thus, distortion is nontrivial. GDP losses are the largest in the United States, China, India, Mexico and Germany.

Keywords: deadweight loss; GDP function; import demand elasticities; trade restrictiveness (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F10 F13 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2004-10
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Journal Article: Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions (2008) Downloads
Working Paper: Import demand elasticities and trade distortions (2004) Downloads
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