Date of Award

3-1985

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Economics / Economic Policy

Supervisor

Professor J.R. Williams

Co-Supervisor

Professor R.A. Muller

Committee Member

Professor D.W. Butterfield

Abstract

This thesis develops a computable, non-linear programming, general equilibrium model of the Canadian textile sector for the purpose of addressing certain trade policy issues.

One of the unique features of the model is the specification of the objective function-- a CES nested in a Cobb-Douglas function. This objective function incorporates the assumption of diminishing marginal utility, an assumption which is almost universally accepted in microeconomic theory but which is conspicuously missing in linear programming models. This objective function also allows for imperfect substitutability between domestically produced textiles and imported textiles.

The textile sector is significantly disaggregated to allow for the interconnections among the various textile industries in the sector. In addition, unlike partial equilibrium models which do not consider what happens to other industries outside the sector under study, this model is able to shed some light on the behaviour of these industries.

The model is solved by an optimization package called MINOS (a modular in-core nonlinear optimization system) and then used to predict the 1979 variables to set a benchmark for the model. The model predicts most variables reasonably well.

The results of the experiments confirm Bhagwati's concept of equivalence as applied to general equilibrium models. The results also show that if protection in textiles is removed, imports will pour in, leading to declines in output and employment in the textile industries. The finding that there is considerable anti-protection in the textile sector agrees with the view expressed by other writers. The results also show that, in general, a textile industry at a later stage of processing tends to expand if it is the only one protected and an industry at an early stage of processing tends to contract if it is the only one protected.

Given any quota, its tariff equivalent can be computed using the model. With reference to tariffs and subsidies, the results show that one cannot say categorically that one means of protection is generally preferable to the other, a finding which is consistent with the trade distortions literature.

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