Australian Tariff Policy and the Theory of Protection

  • Warner Max Corden
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Economic Thought book series (PHET)


This chapter is different from all my other chapters. Readers beware! It is written purely for economists and makes no attempt at explaining concepts, jargon, and ideas that are familiar only to economists. Furthermore, it would be of interest only to those economists who want to know how radical trade liberalisation (reduction of tariffs) came about in Australia, and more specifically what were the roles several people—including politicians, public servants, and academics—played in this process. Also relevant was the exchange rate policy. In fact, I have precisely analysed, among other things, how my own writings have affected actual policies. This chapter also introduces the concept of effective protection, which I did not invent (a Canadian economist did) but I propagated and elaborated internationally.


  1. WM Corden The Road to Reform: Essays on Australian Economic Policy, Addison-Wesley 1997.Google Scholar
  2. Most of the articles listed below, if they concern Australia and were written by me, are reproduced in this book of collected articles, as well as having appeared in The Economic Record. Google Scholar
  3. W.M. Corden, “The Structure of a Tariff System and the Effective Protective Rate”, Journal of Political Economy, Vol. 74, June 1966, pp. 221–37.Google Scholar
  4. This is my “star” article, with a high citation record. It is fully reprinted in two of my books of collected articles, namely Protection, Growth and Trade: Essays in International Economics, Basil Blackwell 1985, and International Trade Theory and Policy: Selected Essays of W. Max Corden, Edward Elgar 1992.Google Scholar
  5. WM Corden, “The Calculation of the Cost of Protection” The Economic Record 1957. In retrospect, this was one of my most original, articles, relevant for all countries with protection. It was my first significant article in the ‘Protection’ area which dominated my work for many years.Google Scholar
  6. WM Corden. “The Substitution Problem in the Theory of Effective Protection”, Journal of International Economics, February 1971Google Scholar
  7. WM Corden “Import Restrictions and Tariffs: A New Look at Australian Policy”, The Economic Record, December 1958. This was my “Adelaide Lecture.”Google Scholar
  8. WM Corden “The Tariff” in A. Hunter (ed.) The Economics of Australian Industry, Melbourne University Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  9. WM Corden “Australian Tariff Policy” (1st Fisher Lecture) Adelaide, 1967.Google Scholar
  10. WM Corden, “The Vernon Report: Protection,” The Economic Record, March 1966b.Google Scholar
  11. WM Corden “Protection and Liberalisation in Australia and Abroad” (2 nd Fisher lecture) Australian Economic Review, Adelaide, 1996.Google Scholar
  12. WM Corden “Effective Protection and I” History of Economics Review, 2005.Google Scholar
  13. Brigden J. B et al., The Australian Tariff: An Economic Enquiry, Melbourne University Press 1929Google Scholar
  14. C L Barber, “Canadian Tariff Policy”, Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 1955a.Google Scholar
  15. Anderson, Jym and Ross Garnaut “Australian Protectionism: Extent, Causes and Effects.” Allen and Unwin 1987.Google Scholar
  16. This is an excellent, comprehensive review of Australian protectionism, including its causes and effects, and going back to 1901 and forward up to the 1970s.Google Scholar
  17. AC Pigou, The Economics of Welfare, 1920Google Scholar
  18. Clarence Barber, “Canadian Tariff Policy” Canadian Journal of Economics and Political Science, 1955.Google Scholar
  19. HG Johnson, “The Theory of Tariff Structure with Special Reference to World Trade and Development”, in Johnson, HG and Peter Kenen, Trade and Development, Geneva 1965.Google Scholar
  20. Balassa, B. “Tariff Protection in Industrial Countries: an Evaluation”, Journal of Political Economy, 1965.Google Scholar
  21. Basevi, G. “The United States Tariff Structure: estimates of effective rates of protection of United States industries and industrial labor”. Review of Economics and Statistics, 1966.Google Scholar
  22. Balassa, B et al “The Structure of Protection in Developing Counties”, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1971.Google Scholar
  23. Garnaut, Ross, Australia, in Williamson (ed.) The Political Economy of Policy Reform, Institute of International Economics, Washington DC (1994).Google Scholar
  24. Greenaway, David and Chris Milner, “Effective Protection, Policy Appraisal and Trade Policy Reform”, The World Economy, April 2003Google Scholar
  25. Rattigan, Alf, Industry Assistance: The Inside Story, Melbourne University Press, 1986.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Warner Max Corden
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MelbourneMelbourneAustralia

Personalised recommendations