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GTAP Resource #4113

"Specific duties: friends or foes for developing exporters?"
by Guimbard, Houssein and Charlotte Emlinger

Tariffs may be ad-valorem (percentage of the CIF price of the imported good) or specific (expressed as an amount of money per unit). The intrinsic difference between ad-valorem and specific tariffs not merely influence the structure of trade flows (through changes in relative prices), but also prices of traded goods. Thus, the implementation of specific duties in a country is a strong incentive for trading partners to export high quality goods whose prices are higher because, mechanically, the translation of such a duty into percentage lowers with the value of the good. This issue is particularly noteworthy in trade negotiations: specific duties are often accused of discriminating nature against exports from low-income countries, as their producers are specialized in low quality segments, low prices good on their export markets and also in agricultural products which are relatively more protected with specific tariffs than industrial goods.

Different papers have already analyzed the impact of transport costs on prices (Alchian-Allen 1964, 1983, Martin 2009). However, only few articles explore the impact of specific duties on trade. Chowdury (2008, 2009) studies the non-MFN effect of specific duties in terms of welfare. Bureau et ali (2007) investigate the effects of a set of policy instruments on the composition of imports, in particular import prices, in the beef market.

The current paper focuses on the empirical impact of specific duties on the pattern of food trade. More precisely, we analyze and measure to what extend specific duties limit trade and encourage the countries to export products with higher prices. We also discuss about the discriminating nature of those instruments for low-income countries, in particular in their trade with high income countries.

Our set of data, defined at the HS6 level, comes from different database (BACI for trade data, Trade Unit Values for trade prices and MAcMap-HS6 for tariffs, distinguishing between ad-valore...

Resource Details (Export Citation) GTAP Keywords
Category: 2013 Conference Paper
Status: Published
By/In: Presented at the 16th Annual Conference on Global Economic Analysis, Shanghai, China
Date: 2013
Version: 1
Created: Guimbard, H. (4/12/2013)
Updated: Guimbard, H. (4/15/2013)
Visits: 1,252
- Economic development
- Other data bases and data issues

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