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Faculty of Economics

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Crowley, M. A. and Bown, C. P.

Import protection, business cycles, and exchange rates: evidence from the great recession

Journal of International Economics

Vol. 90(1) pp. 50-64 (2013)

Abstract: This paper estimates the impact of macroeconomic fluctuations on import protection policies over 1988:Q1–2010:Q4 for five industrialized economies — the United States, European Union, Australia, Canada and South Korea. We find evidence of a strong countercyclical trade policy response in the pre-Great Recession period of 1988:Q1–2008:Q3 during which increases in domestic unemployment rates, real appreciations in bilateral exchange rates, and declines in the GDP growth rates of bilateral trading partners led to substantial increases in new temporary trade barriers. We then apply this pre-Great Recession empirical model to realized macroeconomic data from 2008:Q4 to 2010:Q4 and find that it predicts a surge of new import protection during the Great Recession — e.g., for the US and EU, the model predicts that new trade barriers would cover an additional 15 percentage points of nonoil imports, well above the baseline level of 2–3% of import coverage immediately preceding the crisis. Finall

JEL Codes: F13

Author links: Meredith Crowley  

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