NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Welfare vs. Market Access: The Implications of Tariff Structure for Tariff Reform

James E. Anderson, J. Peter Neary

NBER Working Paper No. 10730
Issued in September 2004
NBER Program(s):   ITI

We show that the effects of tariff changes on welfare and import volume can be fully characterized by their effects on the generalized 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 liberalization' in price space. Because welfare is negatively but import volume positively related to the generalized variance, the cones do not intersect, which poses a dilemma for trade policy reform. Finally, we show that generalized and trade-weighted moments are mutually proportional when the trade expenditure function is CES.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w10730

Published: Anderson, James E. & Neary, J. Peter, 2007. "Welfare versus market access: The implications of tariff structure for tariff reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 71(1), pages 187-205, March.

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