Trade protection and the role of non-tariff barriers

  • Luisa Kinzius
  • Alexander Sandkamp
  • Erdal YalcinEmail author
Original Paper


A growing share of modern trade policy instruments is shaped by non-tariff barriers (NTBs). Based on a structural gravity equation and the recently updated Global Trade Alert database, we empirically investigate the effect of NTBs on imports. Our analysis reveals that the implementation of NTBs reduces imports of affected products by up to 12%. Their trade dampening effect is thus comparable to that of trade defence instruments such as anti-dumping duties. It is smaller for exporters that have a free trade agreement with the importing country. Different types of NTBs affect trade to a different extent. Finally, we investigate the effect of behind-the-border measures, showing that they significantly lower the importer’s market access.


Non-tariff barriers Trade protection Gravity equation 

JEL Classification

F13 F14 



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Copyright information

© Kiel Institute 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ifo Institute - Leibniz Institute for Economic Research at the University of MunichMunichGermany
  2. 2.LMU MunichMunichGermany
  3. 3.ifo Institute, CESifo, and TGFUniversity of Applied Sciences KonstanzKonstanzGermany
  4. 4.Sinolytics GmbHBerlinGermany

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