The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper examines the macroeconomic impact of tariffs. Existing theoretical models do not provide clear-cut predictions concerning the co-movement between unilateral tariff changes and a set of macroeconomic variables consisting of the real exchange rate, the trade balance, and the level of output. Three different data sets are found to be consistent with the hypothesis that tariffs have no statistically significant impact on the trade balance, the real exchange rate, or the level of output.