Economic issues in 1974
Using the gravity model to estimate the costs of protection
Many economists expend a lot of energy decrying trade protectionism; nonetheless, their estimates of the actual burden that protectionism imposes on the economy have been surprisingly small. In this article, Howard J. Wall presents a method that captures some of the effects and distortions of trade protection which have not been captured by existing methods. Wall finds that during 1996, worldwide protectionism reduced U.S. exports by 26.2 percent. Likewise, U.S. protectionism decreased U.S. imports from non-NAFTA countries by 15.4 percent. He calculates further that the welfare cost of U.S. ...
The dubious success of export subsidies for wheat
Endogenous export subsidies and welfare under domestic cost heterogeneity
We present a model of Cournot rivalry where domestic and foreign firms compete in a third-country market, and where the domestic export subsidy is determined by lobbying. Greater domestic cost heterogeneity (a mean-preserving spread of the marginal costs of the domestic firms) means that the subsidy level, aggregate domestic output, and domestic market share will all be higher. However, the effect of heterogeneity on domestic welfare is ambiguous. From a near-symmetric initial situation, greater domestic cost-heterogeneity reduces domestic welfare if the number of domestic firms exceeds some ...