Monday, February 21, 2011

Econ Journal Footnote of the Year

Foletti, L., Fugazza, M., Nicita, A. and Olarreaga, M. (2011), Smoke in the (Tariff) Water. The World Economy, 34: 248–264
9 The song ‘Smoke on the Water’ was written by Deep Purple and refers to the fire that took place at the Montreux Casino during Frank Zappa’s concert in the 1971 Festival. Montreux is at the opposite end of Lake Geneva from the WTO.
As the article explains, the gap between the tariff limits countries have agreed to under the WTO - "tariff bindings" - and the tariffs they actually impose is known as the "tariff water."  This means that, in practice, countries could raise many tariffs without violating their WTO commitments.  After accounting for tariff bindings that are above prohibitive levels and the constraints of regional trade agreements, the paper looks whether countries have used their available "policy space" to increase protection during the global recession (and finds that, generally, they haven't very much).

Or, one might say they decided not to go (Policy) Space Truckin'.

For a follow-up, might I suggest: Woman from (the) Tokyo (Round) ?

If you think you're not familiar with "Smoke on the Water," after the first 20 or so seconds of this you will realize that you are (its the holy trinity of rock).  Also: Space Truckin' and Woman from Tokyo.

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