Väliskaubanduse mahu ja tasakaalu seosed riikide kaubandusprotektsionistliku poliitikaga



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Tartu Ülikool


The reasons and outcomes of trade protectionist policies have been examined by many researchers, in particular in the last two decades. The interest in this area have been intensified in recent years mostly due to the severe financial crises. From theoretic standpoint, the relations between trade protectionist policies and external trade are quite clear. Nevertheless, from empiric point of view no uncontested relations have been found. At the same time these questions are to be solved by policy makers as the peril of protectionist wave is very topical. In these circumstances it is vital to bring some clarity to this issue of dissenting opinions. According to this, the aim of the research is to clarify the relations between trade protectionist policies and export, import and net export. As we cannot defy the structural differences between countries, these relations are analyzed separately among countries with different levels of development. To meet the objective of this research, first, it is essential to explain the concept of trade protectionism and the resulting global impacts as well as the interests of specific countries. Second, it is important to ascertain the theoretic or expected relations of issue concerned. Third, it is needful to examine through empiric analysis whether and to what extent these expectations stand in real world. From theoretic viewpoint, it is expected that an increase in the level of protectionism leads to lower level of both export and import. All in all, these impacts are equal and therefore there is no effect on net export at all. This model expects constant value of savings and investments. To examine these relations between countries, it is needed to reduce the impact of different levels of savings and investments, i.e. structural differences between countries. To do this, all cases are separated based on income level to low, lower middle, upper middle and high income cases. By analyzing these relations, differences according to income levels have been revealed, in particular in relations between trade protectionism and balance of external trade. Since export and import as percentage of GDP decrease in most cases as the level of protectionism increases, this can be linked to theoretic approach. However, the relations are not as simple when we look at balance of external trade. Low income countries on average maintain the level of net export as the level of protectionism increases and that is exactly what theory have approved. The results are more interesting in cases of middle and high income countries. Middle income countries on average seem to improve the balance of external trade while turning more protectionist. On the contrary, high income countries on average improve net export in case of liberalisation of trade policy. The result that protectionism may affect the balance of external trade is the most remarkable finding in this study. As can be seen, only highly developed countries may get direct economic benefits from liberalisation of trade through improving net export. This is most probably going to be the main obstacle why further trade liberalisation will not be very successful. The most presumable solution for this would be to change the system of getting benefits at least as much as no specific countries could get considerable damage. Otherwise, there is a great threat that a protectionist wave is going to take place. The consequence of latter would be notable economic loss for almost all countries.