The Political Economy of Non‐Tariff Measures

25 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2018

See all articles by Cristina Herghelegiu

Cristina Herghelegiu

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

Date Written: January 2018


This paper examines the extent to which non‐tariff measures (NTMs) are set for protectionist purposes. Our main focus is on developing countries. Overall results show that NTMs reflect protectionist forces, in particular for those that have been subject to trade concerns at the World Trade Organization (WTO). For the other measures, there is no evidence that protectionism is the driving force behind their adoption, suggesting that their determinants may be associated with legitimate goals such as consumer health and safety. Furthermore, transnational lobbying, defined as the participation of national business groups at the Ministerial Conferences—the highest authority of the WTO—is positively associated with the probability of adopting NTMs.

Keywords: international trade, lobbying, nontariff measures, political economy

Suggested Citation

Herghelegiu, Cristina, The Political Economy of Non‐Tariff Measures (January 2018). The World Economy, Vol. 41, Issue 1, pp. 262-286, 2018, Available at SSRN: or

Cristina Herghelegiu (Contact Author)

Université Paris I Panthéon-Sorbonne

17, rue de la Sorbonne
Paris, IL 75005

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