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A Theory of Managed Trade

Kyle Bagwell and Robert W. Staiger
The American Economic Review
Vol. 80, No. 4 (Sep., 1990), pp. 779-795
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2006707
Page Count: 17
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A Theory of Managed Trade
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Abstract

This paper proposes a theory that predicts low levels of protection during periods of "normal" trade volume coupled with episodes of "special" protection when trade volumes surge. This dynamic pattern of protection emerges from a model in which countries choose levels of protection in a repeated game facing volatile trade swings. High trade volume leads to a greater incentive to defect unilaterally from cooperative tariff levels. Therefore, as the volume of trade expands, the level of protection must rise in a cooperative equilibrium to mitigate the rising trade volume and hold the incentive to defect in check.

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