NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Trade Barriers and Trade Flows across Countries and Industries

Jong-Wha Lee, Phillip Swagel

NBER Working Paper No. 4799
Issued in July 1994
NBER Program(s):   ITI

We use disaggregated data on trade flows, production, and trade barriers for 41 countries in 1988 to examine the political and economic determinants of non-tariff barriers, as well as the impact of protection (both tariff and non-tariff) on trade flows. We use an econometric framework that allows for the simultaneous determination of trade barriers and trade flows. Our results are consistent with political-economy theories of the determinants of protection: even after accounting for industry-specific factors, nations tend to protect industries that are weak, in decline, and threatened by import competition. Countries also give more protection to large industries; these might be thought of as politically important. Nations use tariffs, non-tariff barriers, and exchange rate controls as complementary instruments of protection.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w4799

Published: Review of Economics and Statistics, Vol. 79, no. 3 (August 1997): 372-382.

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