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Published online by Cambridge University Press:  24 February 2010

Richard Baldwin
Affiliation:
Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva
Daniel Cohen
Affiliation:
Université de Paris I
Andre Sapir
Affiliation:
Université Libre de Bruxelles
Anthony Venables
Affiliation:
London School of Economics and Political Science
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Summary

It is always a pleasure to read a contribution by Elhanan Helpman, and chapter 4 is no exception. This survey presents in a clear-cut and compact way the recent formal literature on political economy of trade to which Helpman and his coauthor Gene Grossman have importantly contributed. Generations of scholars and students of international trade policy will have this chapter on their reading list and will be grateful to get to the frontier of the field in just about 30 pages!

The main strength of the chapter lies in grasping the various approaches of political economy of trade protection in a single simple framework and deriving elegant explicit tariff formulae that can be easily compared. In this way, the contributions of the different models are concisely explained and transparently related to each other.

The survey starts by reviewing the various political economy approaches to trade protection (direct democracy, political-support function, tariff-formation function, electoral competition). It follows Helpman and Grossman's recent work in the field (the so-called ‘influence-driven contribution’ approach), and discusses how their approach can fruitfully be applied to the political economy of international trade relationships (international trade negotiations and the formation of free trade areas (FTAs)). I will essentially organise my discussion in two sections. First, I point out a caveat to most models that Helpman presents. Second, I suggest some potential avenues for future research which were not mentioned in the chapter.

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Chapter
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Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1999

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  • Discussion
  • Edited by Richard Baldwin, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Daniel Cohen, Université de Paris I, Andre Sapir, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Anthony Venables, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Market Integration, Regionalism and the Global Economy
  • Online publication: 24 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511599118.009
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  • Discussion
  • Edited by Richard Baldwin, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Daniel Cohen, Université de Paris I, Andre Sapir, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Anthony Venables, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Market Integration, Regionalism and the Global Economy
  • Online publication: 24 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511599118.009
Available formats
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Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Discussion
  • Edited by Richard Baldwin, Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, Daniel Cohen, Université de Paris I, Andre Sapir, Université Libre de Bruxelles, Anthony Venables, London School of Economics and Political Science
  • Book: Market Integration, Regionalism and the Global Economy
  • Online publication: 24 February 2010
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511599118.009
Available formats
×