A country's stance on international trade is an important component of its economic welfare. Yet relatively little theoretical attention has been paid to developing accurate methods to assess trade policies, leaving practitioners and policy makers with ad hoc solutions that lack theoretical foundation. In this book, James Anderson and Peter Neary present a new approach to gauging trade restrictiveness. Extending the standard theory of index numbers that apply to prices, output, or productivity, Anderson and Neary develop index numbers that apply directly to policy variables.
James Anderson has been a singular force in the research on tariffs versus quotas. In this book he demonstrates that in most reasonable circumstances, quotas are an inferior trade policy relative to import tariffs. He presents substantive new work on tariffs and quotas in imperfect competition and provides a better understanding of quotas and protection policies generally.In the current debate about protectionism, free trade, and "fair trade," Anderson's conclusions fly in the face of congressional approval of import quotas as a strategy to improve American life.