Great expectations ex ante assessment of the effects of trade reform
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Great Expectations: Ex Ante Assessment of the Effects of Trade Reform. Joe Francois and Will Martin 15 June 2006. We’ve made enormous progress. GTAP has given easy access to the data needed for global trade analysis MAcMap 6-digit data for policy analysis With preferences included

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Great Expectations: Ex Ante Assessment of the Effects of Trade Reform

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Great expectations ex ante assessment of the effects of trade reform

Great Expectations: Ex Ante Assessment of the Effects of Trade Reform

Joe Francois and Will Martin

15 June 2006


We ve made enormous progress

We’ve made enormous progress

  • GTAP has given easy access to the data needed for global trade analysis

  • MAcMap 6-digit data for policy analysis

    • With preferences included

  • Able to gain key insights into policy reforms

    • Help highlight problems, identify opportunities

  • Contrast with the Uruguay Round

    • Hard to get data even after the Round concluded


Are we there yet

Are we there yet?

  • Paul Krugman’s “dirty little secret” remains: the welfare measures from trade reform are very small

    • 0.7% of GDP in recent World Bank analysis

  • What sensible policy maker would stake her career on gains of 0.7% of GDP?

    • A month’s growth in China or India


But perhaps it s ok

But perhaps it’s OK?

  • Our standard measures are based on a rigorous theoretical framework

  • And perhaps the unmeasured gains scale up these measures proportionately?

    • So we might rank policies, without providing a “number”?

  • Alas, this is not always the case


Key questions

Key questions

  • What needs to be measured?

  • What should we do better?

  • How might we do it?


What needs to be measured

What needs to be measured?

  • Some indicator of the potential for the gainers to compensate the losers?

  • Where might these gains come from?

    • Allocative efficiency changes

    • Process productivity changes

    • Product variety & quality effects

    • Factor market & investment effects


Efficiency and productivity

Efficiency and Productivity


A disturbing disconnect

A disturbing disconnect

  • Traditional trade theory, and most empirical modeling, focuses on allocative efficiency

    • The difference between b and e in the figure

    • With the PPF unchanged, except via input price

    • Generally small

  • Macro-growth literature focuses mainly on shifts in the Production Possibility Frontier

    • Mainly due to process productivity

    • Price distortions, variety & quality effects on inputs included, but no consumer gain

    • Sometimes large


What should we do better

What should we do better?

  • Welfare measures

  • Measures of distortions

  • Aggregation of distortions

  • Revenue replacement

  • Process productivity

  • Changes in product variety & quality

  • Investment, factor markets & growth


Welfare measures

Welfare measures

  • The balance-of-trade function captures production, expenditure & tariff revenues

    • generalizes measures based on expenditure fn

      B = e(p,u) – r(p,v) – zp(p,u,v)´(p-p*)

  • Where e(p,u) is the expenditure fn; r(p,v) is GDP; zp=ep – rp; p* is world price

  • 2nd order approximation with fixed # of products yields Harberger triangles


Can augment b to capture

Can augment B to capture

  • Process productivity gains

  • Increases in product variety

  • Improvements in product quality

  • Declines in price-cost margins & output increases at firm level

  • Investment and growth


The ubiquitous ev s

The ubiquitous EV’s

  • The compensated measure of EV

    ΔBc = B(p1,u0) - B(p0,u0)

  • In applied work, usually use uncompensated

    EV = e(p0, u1) – e(p0, u0)

    • Includes income effects on distorted goods

      • Can differ a lot if revenues used for public goods

    • But quite close to a potential real GDP measure

  • Compensated measures internationally comparable & additive


Measuring distortions

Measuring distortions

  • Doing much better with tariff measures

    • Ad valorem equivalents, preferences included

  • Key issue now is non-tariff measures (NTMs)

    • Kee, Nicita and Olarreaga infer these measures from a finely disaggregated trade model

      • Suggest NTMs are twice tariffs in industrial-country agriculture, four times as high in non-agriculture

      • Would scale up the costs of protection by a factor of 9 in agriculture, 25 in non-agriculture


Measuring distortions 2

Measuring distortions (2)

  • Francois and Woerz find ATC quotas were far higher than we thought when rents captured by importers are included

  • From price comparisons, Bradford finds NTMs may be 10 times tariff barriers in the OECD

  • Not likely that the unmeasured benefits proportional to our measured gains from tariff cuts


Better data on distortions

Better data on distortions

  • Detailed price comparisons and surveys of exporters potentially very important

    • Kym Anderson’s project on agric distortions

    • Will provide better information on NTMs

    • May reduce measured protection– water in tariffs

  • Also some insights into the counterfactual

    • Is protection stochastic?

      • If so, benefits even if bound rate exceeds applied

    • Is mean protection stable, or increasing?


Services trade barriers

Services trade barriers

  • Current measures are extremely poor

  • Widely suspected that average barriers to services trade are larger than in goods

  • And many of these barriers likely create higher costs per unit than tariffs

    • Through rent seeking; reduction in competition; or x-inefficiency

  • A priority, albeit a difficult one


Aggregating distortions

Aggregating distortions

  • The ubiquitous weighted-average has major problems

    • Averaging problem– understates costs

    • Weighting problem-- low weights on highly protected goods

  • The differences can be huge

    • Manole and Martin found costs with optimal aggregators 15 times those with weighted average

    • Some with higher average tariffs had lower costs


Estimated costs of protection

Estimated costs of protection


Aggregation

Aggregation

  • We have all the information we need to do better

    • Currently, we just throw much of it away

  • There are papers at this conference looking at different approaches

  • This is surely one area where we can do better?


Revenue replacement

Revenue replacement

  • Most trade liberalization studies assume that tariff revenues are redistributed costlessly to consumers

    • Alas, such lump-sum transfers rarely exist

  • Tariff revenues must be replaced via an alternative tax, or expenditure changes

    • Harrison, Rutherford & Tarr found that tariff replacement via a VAT cut the benefits of liberalization by 40%


Process productivity

Process productivity

  • Evidence from the firm level that liberalization increases productivity by expanding the availability and quality of intermediate inputs

  • Also an extensive literature on transmission of knowledge through trade

  • Pavcnik found productivity gains in import-competing firms through competition, exit and reallocation

    • The adjustment that governments often fear is a major source of gain


Process productivity exports

Process productivity: exports

Exporting firms have higher productivity

  • Traditional explanations --Arrow’s learning-by-doing

  • But Clerides, Lach & Tybout, & Bernard & Jensen, cast doubt on this explanation

    • Seemed to be little increase in productivity post-export

    • More efficient firms self-selected into exporting

  • Also highlighted the fact that firms are very heterogeneous in their productivity

  • And that price-cost margins decline with liberalization


  • Process productivity heterogeneous firms

    Process productivity:Heterogeneous firms

    Melitz (2003) provided a framework where trade liberalization with heterogeneous firms yields productivity gains

    • High productivity firms self-select into exports

    • Competitive pressure following liberalization causes exit of less-productive firms, reallocation of resources to more efficient

  • Some recent studies question the rejection of gains from learning-by-doing


  • Variety quality of exports

    Variety & quality of exports

    • Our traditional models assume that all export growth is at the intensive margin

      • Expanded exports involve more of the same products going to the same markets

      • Hummels & Klenow (HK 2005) find that 2/3 of export expansion is in new products

      • Evenett & Venables find that 1/3 of export growth in developing countries is from new markets

    • HK find quality upgrading on intensive margin


    Export variety and quality

    Export variety and quality

    • Assuming preference for variety, increases in export variety augment export demand

      • Shift out the export demand curve

      • Offset terms of trade fall implied by usual models

      • May help resolve old puzzles on elasticities

    • Quality upgrading augments these gains

      • Hummels-Klenow find rising intensive-margin prices in growing economies

    • These gains are additional to the gains from process productivity


    Factor markets labor

    Factor Markets: Labor

    • Desirable to include labor supply

      • Relevant supply elasticities are compensated, so even response by prime-working-age males nontrivial

    • Labor market performance is important

      • Simple closures like fixed consumer real wage increase the gains from libn, but are they realistic?

      • Doing better seems to require knowledge of countries’ institutions


    Investment climate

    Investment climate

    • Investment climate always important

      • In Melitz-type models, firms “die” and need to be replaced

    • Recent work suggests that the full gains from trade are much greater if the investment climate is supportive

      • Rutherford and Tarr (2002) find an 11% gain from 10% point tariff cut, with variety effects on intermediates and with domestic reinvestment

      • But 37% with foreign investment allowed


    To conclude some key potential improvements

    To conclude: Some key potential improvements

    • Improved estimates of distortions

    • Better aggregation of distortions

    • Better representation of process productivity

      • Heterogeneous firms & reallocation

      • Learning-by-doing?

    • Capturing changes in product variety & quality

    • Capturing gains associated with investment


    Implementation

    Implementation

    • New data needs are difficult but important

      • Aggregation looks more straightforward

    • Many of the new approaches involve distributions of firm productivity, costs of exporting, elasticities of substitution

      • Might we be able to obtain adequate, agreed measures of these parameters

      • To get agreed consequences of liberalization?

    • An ambitious agenda, and we can surely learn a lot trying


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