Measuring Protection: Mission Impossible?

TRADEAG Working Paper No. 06/07

62 Pages Posted: 26 May 2006

See all articles by Maria Cipollina

Maria Cipollina

Università degli Studi del Molise

Luca Salvatici

Università Roma Tre - Dipartimento di Economia

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Date Written: May 2006


In the international trade literature there seems to be some confusion between "openness" and "protection" measures. The aim of this paper is to bring together the "state of the art" in quantifying trade policy measures, so we focus on the extent of the protection granted by policies rather than on the degree of openness of the economy.

Given the huge size of literature dealing with these issues, we limit our review as follows. On the one hand, we focus on trade policies implemented at the border: accordingly, we do not consider all the other possible public interventions influencing trade flows. On the other hand, we take into account only indexes explicitly adopting a metric expressed in a "scalar aggregate" (tariff- and quota-equivalent measures, or an index in a closed interval).

We distinguish between indexes that aggregate across products (same barrier for more products) and indexes that aggregate across instruments (more barriers for the same product). Finally, in order to classify the large number of indexes covered in our review, we propose a typology based on three categories: incidence, outcome and equivalence.

Keywords: Protection, Tariff and Non-Tariff barriers, Tariff and Non-Tariff measures

JEL Classification: F13, F19

Suggested Citation

Cipollina, Maria and Salvatici, Luca, Measuring Protection: Mission Impossible? (May 2006). TRADEAG Working Paper No. 06/07, Available at SSRN: or

Maria Cipollina

Università degli Studi del Molise ( email )

Via De Sanctis
I-86100 Campobasso, Campobasso (CB) 86100

Luca Salvatici (Contact Author)

Università Roma Tre - Dipartimento di Economia ( email )

Via Ostiense, 159
Roma, RM 00145
+390657335737 (Phone)

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