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Assessing the Effects of Trade Liberalisation: A Critical Examination

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  • Frank Ackerman

Abstract

Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of world trade, often presented as demonstrating the benefits of trade liberalization, are now making rather less promising forecasts than they used to just a few years ago. The estimated benefits are not only smaller in the aggregate, but also skewed toward the developed countries; the expected contribution of trade liberalization to economic development and poverty alleviation is extremely limited. Calculation of the benefits to be expected of services liberalization, trade facilitation measures, and long-term productivity gains from trade liberalization remains problematical and speculative. The empirical limitations of CGE forecasts stem from broader theoretical weaknesses: the models are largely locked within a static framework and, oddly, assume that trade policy causes no changes in total employment, upwards or downwards (??). Models built on more adequate theories, which have only recently begun to appear, could offer a very different picture of the effects of trade liberalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Associazione Rossi Doria in its journal QA.

Volume (Year): (2006)
Issue (Month): 3 (July)
Pages:

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Handle: RePEc:rar:journl:0037

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Related research

Keywords: Trade Liberalization; Computable General; Equilibrium Models; Poverty;

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References

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  1. Jean-Christophe Bureau & Antoine Bouet, Yvan Decreux, Sébastien Jean, 2005. "Multilateral agricultural trade liberalization: The contrasting fortunes of developing countries in the Doha Round," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp060, IIIS.
  2. J. Francois & H. van Meijl & F. van Tongeren, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Developing Countries under the Doha Round," Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers 03-060/2, Tinbergen Institute, revised 30 Aug 2003.
  3. Paul Oslington, 2005. "Unemployment and Trade Liberalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(8), pages 1139-1155, 08.
  4. Thomas Hertel & David Hummels & Maros Ivanic & Roman Keeney, 2004. "How Confident Can We Be in CGE-Based Assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," NBER Working Papers 10477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Frank Ackerman, 2001. "Still dead after all these years: interpreting the failure of general equilibrium theory," Journal of Economic Methodology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 119-139.
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Cited by:
  1. Sebastian Benz & Erdal Yalcin, 2013. "Quantifying the Economic Effects of an EU-Japan Free Trade Agreement," CESifo Working Paper Series 4319, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Shahid Yusuf & Kaoru Nabeshima, 2010. "Changing the Industrial Geography in Asia : The Impact of China and India," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 13544, October.

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