Working Papers, Department of Economics, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey 1994-12
Governments in more developed economies partially compensate import-competing industries when world prices fall, i.e. they lean against the wind. In less developed economies we often observe liberalization in response to the same shock. We use a political-support maximization model with revenue motives to derive conditions under which a rational policy-maker would respond to lower world prices by reducing tariff protection for an import-competing industry. An initial tariff that exceeds the maximum revenue level proves necessary but not sufficient for politically optimal liberalization following a fall in the world price of the importable good.