NBER Working Papers by Wesley Wilson

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Working Papers

September 2010Are All Trade Protection Policies Created Equal? Empirical Evidence for Nonequivalent Market Power Effects of Tariffs and Quotas
with Bruce Blonigen, Benjamin H. Liebman, Justin R. Pierce: w16391
Over the past decades, the steel industry has been protected by a wide variety of trade policies, both tariff- and quota-based. We exploit this extensive heterogeneity in trade protection to examine the well-established theoretical literature predicting nonequivalent effects of tariffs and quotas on domestic firms’ market power. Robust to a variety of empirical specifications with U.S. Census data on the population of U.S. steel plants from 1967-2002, we find evidence for significant market power effects for binding quota-based protection, but not for tariff-based protection. There is only weak evidence that antidumping protection increases market power.

Published: Blonigen, Bruce A. & Liebman, Benjamin H. & Pierce, Justin R. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2013. "Are all trade protection policies created equal? Empirical evidence for nonequivalent market power effects of tariffs and quotas," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 369-378. citation courtesy of

December 2007Trade Policy and Market Power: The Case of the US Steel Industry
with Bruce A. Blonigen, Benjamin H. Liebman: w13671
A primary function of trade policy is to restrict imports to benefit the targeted domestic sector. However, a well-established theoretical literature highlights that the form of trade policy (e.g., quotas versus tariffs) can have a significant impact on how much trade policy affects firms’ abilities to price above marginal cost (i.e., market power). The US steel industry provides an excellent example to study these issues, as it has received many different types of trade protection over the past decades. We model the US steel market and then use a panel of data on major steel products from 1980 through 2006 to examine the effects of various trade policies on the steel market. We find that the US steel market is very competitive throughout our sample with the exception of the period in ...
February 2006New Measures of Port Efficiency Using International Trade Data
with Bruce A. Blonigen: w12052
As the clearinghouses for a major portion of the world's rapidly increasing international trade flows, ocean ports and the efficiency with which they process cargo have become an ever more important topic. Yet, there exist very little data that allows one to compare port efficiency measures of any kind across ports and, especially, over time. This paper provides a new statistical method of uncovering port efficiency measures using U.S. Census data on imports into U.S. ports. Unlike previous measures, this study's methodology can provide such estimates for a much broader sample of countries and years with little cost. Thus, such data can be used by future researchers to examine a myriad of new issues, including the evolution of port efficiencies over time and its effects on international tr...
November 2005Foreign Subsidization and Excess Capacity
with Bruce A. Blonigen: w11798
The U.S. steel industry has long held that foreign subsidization and excess capacity has led to its long-run demise, yet no one has formally examined this hypothesis. In this paper, we incorporate foreign subsidization considerations into a model based on Staiger and Wolak’s (1992) cyclical-dumping framework and illustrate testable implications of both cyclical excess capacity and structural excess capacity stemming from foreign subsidization. We then use detailed product- and foreign country-level data on steel exports to the U.S. market from 1979 through 2002 to estimate these excess capacity effects. The results provide strong evidence of both cyclical and structural excess capacity effects for exports to the U.S. market. However, the effects are confined to such a narrow range of count...

Published: Blonigen, Bruce A. & Wilson, Wesley W., 2010. "Foreign subsidization and excess capacity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 200-211, March. citation courtesy of

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