CONSTANT RETURNS TO SCALE
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AbstractThis paper provides new survey evidence
showing that loss aversion and reference dependence are
important in shaping people's perception of trade
policy. Under the assumption that agents' welfare
functions exhibit these behavioral elements, we analyze a
model with a welfare-maximizing government and with the
lobbying framework of Grossman and Helpman (1994). The
policy implications of the augmented models differ in three
important ways. One, there is a region of compensating
protection, where a decline in the world price leads to an
offsetting increase in protection, such that a constant
domestic price is maintained. Two, protection following a
single negative price shock will be persistent. Three,
irrespective of the extent of lobbying, there will be a
deviation from free trade that tends to favor loss-making
industries. The augmented models are more consistent with
the observed structure of protection, and in particular,
explain why many trade policy instruments are explicitly
designed to maintain prices at a given level.
TypePublications & Research
Copyright/LicenseCC BY 3.0 IGO
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