Is Protectionism on the Rise? Assessing National Trade Policies During the Crisis of 2008

34 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Hiau Looi Kee

Hiau Looi Kee

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Cristina Constantinescu

World Bank

Alessandro Nicita

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG)

Date Written: April 1, 2010

Abstract

To understand the role of trade policies in the crisis of 2008, this paper constructs the overall trade restrictiveness indices for a wide range of countries using their tariff schedules in 2008 and 2009. The index summarizes the trade policy stance of a country, taking into account the share of each good in trade as well as its corresponding import demand elasticity. Results show that there is no widespread increase in protectionism via tariff policies since the global financial crisis has unfolded. While many countries have adjusted tariffs upward on selected products, only a handful of countries, such as Malawi, Russia, Argentina, Turkey and China focus on products that have significant impacts on trade flows. The United States and the European Union, by contrast, rely mainly on anti-dumping duties to shield domestic industries. Overall, while the rise in tariffs and anti-dumping duties in these countries may have jointly caused global trade to drop by as much as US$43 billion during the crisis period, it explains less than 2 percent of the collapse in world trade.

Keywords: Trade Law, Trade Policy, Economic Theory & Research, Free Trade, Trade and Services

Suggested Citation

Kee, Hiau Looi and Constantinescu, Cristina and Nicita, Alessandro, Is Protectionism on the Rise? Assessing National Trade Policies During the Crisis of 2008 (April 1, 2010). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5274, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1592805

Hiau Looi Kee (Contact Author)

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
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Washington, DC 20433
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HOME PAGE: http://econ.worldbank.org/staff/hkee

Cristina Constantinescu

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Alessandro Nicita

World Bank - Development Research Group (DECRG) ( email )

1818 H. Street, N.W.
MSN3-311
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-4066 (Phone)
202-522-1159 (Fax)

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