Protection unconstrained by rules often varies substantially over time. Rules-based disciplines like OECD industrial tariff bindings negotiated under GATT since 1947 and new Uruguay Round bindings on agricultural and services trade and on developing country industrial tariffs, constrain this variability. We examine the theoretical effects of such constraints on the expected cost of protection and offer a formalization of the concept of "market access," emphasizing both the first and second moments of the distribution of protection. As an illustration, we provide a stylized examination of Uruguay Round agricultural bindings.

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Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Tinbergen Institute

François, J., & Martin, W. (1998). Commercial Policy Uncertainty, the Expected Cost of Protection, and Market Access (No. TI 98-059/2). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from