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05-01 "The Shrinking Gains from Trade: A Critical Assessment of Doha Round Projections"

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  • Frank Ackerman

Abstract

Computable general equilibrium (CGE) models of world trade, often presented as demonstrating the benefits of trade liberalization, now make much more modest forecasts than they did just a few years ago. The estimated benefits are not only small in the aggregate, but also skewed toward developed countries; the expected contribution of trade liberalization to economic development and poverty alleviation is extremely limited. Related calculations, for the expected benefits of services liberalization, trade facilitation measures, and long-term productivity gains from trade liberalization, remain problematical and/or speculative. The empirical limitations of CGE forecasts rest on broader theoretical weaknesses: the models are largely locked within a static framework, and remarkably assume that trade policy causes no changes in total employment, up or down. Models built on more adequate theories, which have only begun to appear, would paint a very different picture of the effects of trade liberalization.

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Paper provided by GDAE, Tufts University in its series GDAE Working Papers with number 05-01.

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Handle: RePEc:dae:daepap:05-01

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  1. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2005. "Agricultural trade reform and the Doha development agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3607, The World Bank.
  2. 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.
  3. Hertel, Thomas & Hummels, David & Ivanic, Maros & Keeney, Roman, 2007. "How confident can we be of CGE-based assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 24(4), pages 611-635, July.
  4. William R. Cline, 2004. "Trade Policy and Global Poverty," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number 379.
  5. 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.
  6. Stephen Tokarick, 2005. "Who Bears the Cost of Agricultural Support in OECD Countries?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(4), pages 573-593, 04.
  7. Antoine Bouët & Jean-Christophe Bureau & Yvan Decreux & Sébastien Jean, 2004. "Multilateral Agricultural Trade Liberalization: The Contrasting Fortunes of Developing Countries in the Doha Round," Working Papers 2004-18, CEPII research center.
  8. Krugman, Paul R, 1987. "Is Free Trade Passe?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 131-44, Fall.
  9. Werner Antweiler & Daniel Trefler, 2002. "Increasing Returns and All That: A View from Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 92(1), pages 93-119, March.
  10. Paul Oslington, 2005. "Unemployment and Trade Liberalisation," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(8), pages 1139-1155, 08.
  11. Andrew H. Charlton & Joseph E. Stiglitz, 2005. "A Development-friendly Prioritisation of Doha Round Proposals," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(3), pages 293-312, 03.
  12. 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.
  13. Drusilla K. Brown & Alan V. Deardorff & Robert M Stern, 2002. "Computational Analysis of Multilateral Trade Liberalization in the Uruguay Round and Doha Development Round," Working Papers 489, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
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Cited by:
  1. Maoz, Yishay & Peled, Dan & Sarid, Assaf, 2009. "Trade Agreements, Bargaining and Economic Growth," MPRA Paper 17064, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  2. Drogue, Sophie & Bartova, Lubica, 2007. "A Critical Survey of Databases on Tariffs and Trade Available for the Analysis of EU Agricultural Agreements," Working Papers 7287, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  3. Martin, William J. & Anderson, Kym, 2006. "The Doha Agenda and Agricultural Trade Reform: The Role of Economic Analysis," 2006 Annual Meeting, August 12-18, 2006, Queensland, Australia 25628, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  4. Femenia, Fabienne & Alexandre, Gohin, 2009. "Dynamic modelling of agricultural policies: the role of expectation schemes," 2009 Conference, August 16-22, 2009, Beijing, China 51665, International Association of Agricultural Economists.

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