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Household Inequality, Welfare, and the Setting of Trade Policy

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  • Joseph Francois

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

  • Hugo Rojas-Romagosa

    ()
    (Faculty of Economics, Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam)

Abstract

We analyze general equilibrium relationships between trade policy and the household distribution of income, decomposing social welfare into real income level and variance components through Gini and Atkinson indexes. We embed these inequality-adjusted social welfare functions in a general equilibrium structure mapping from tariff protection to household inequality. This yields predictions regarding the linkages between trade protection, country characteristics and inequality in Heckscher-Ohlin and Ricardo-Viner frameworks. In addition, we can separate the efficiency and equity effects of tariffs on welfare. We then examine endogenous tariff formation when policy makers care about both equity and special interests.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Tinbergen Institute in its series Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers with number 04-086/2.

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Date of creation: 17 Aug 2004
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Handle: RePEc:dgr:uvatin:20040086

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Keywords: trade policy; household distribution of income; Atkinson index; Gini index; endogenous tariffs; tariffs and equity;

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  1. Edwards, Sebastian, 1997. "Trade Policy, Growth, and Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 205-10, May.
  2. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  3. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Galor, Oded, 1994. "Tariffs, Income Distribution and Welfare in a Small Overlapping-Generations Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 173-92, February.
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  8. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  9. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness," NBER Working Papers 7224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Antonio Spilimbergo & Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 1997. "Income Distribution, Factor Endowments, and Trade Openness," Research Department Publications 4088, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  11. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  12. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  13. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  14. Sen, Amartya, 1974. "Informational bases of alternative welfare approaches : Aggregation and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-403, November.
  15. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Joseph Francis Francois & Hugo ROJAS-ROMAGOSA, 2008. "Equity and International Trade," Economics working papers 2008-14, Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  2. Joseph Francois & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2007. "Equity and Trade Policy," IIDE Discussion Papers 20070501, Institue for International and Development Economics.

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