DP3294 | Commercial Policy Variability, Bindings and Market Access

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Protection unconstrained by rules often varies substantially over time. Rules-based disciplines, such as WTO tariff bindings and bindings on market access in services, 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 bindings on wheat.