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Is Tourism-Based Development Good for the Poor? A General Equilibrium Analysis for Thailand

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  • Wattanakuljarus, Anan

    (U of Wisconsin)

  • Coxhead, Ian

Abstract

The popularity of tourism as a component of development strategy in low-income countries is founded in part upon the belief that expansion of this industry will improve income distribution by greatly expanding demand for relatively low-skilled labor. We examine this belief for the case of Thailand, a highly tourismintensive economy, using a new and specifically-designed applied general equilibrium model. A boom in inbound tourism demand generates foreign exchange and raises household incomes across the board, but worsens their distribution. Tourism sectors are not especially labor-intensive, and the expansion of foreign tourism demand brings about a real appreciation that undermines profitability and reduces employment in tradable sectors, notably agriculture, from which the poor derive a substantial fraction of their income. We examine the robustness of these results with respect to alternative factor market assumptions relevant to the Thai economy.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Wisconsin, Agricultural and Applied Economics in its series Staff Paper Series with number 502.

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Date of creation: Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:ecl:wisagr:502

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  1. Löfgren, Hans & Harris, Rebecca Lee & Robinson, Sherman, 2001. "A standard computable general equilibrium (CGE) model in GAMS," TMD discussion papers 75, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. W. Jill Harrison & K.R. Pearson, 1994. "Computing Solutions for Large General Equilibrium Models Using GEMPACK," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers ip-64, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
  3. Copeland, Brian R, 1991. "Tourism, Welfare and De-industrialization in a Small Open Economy," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 58(232), pages 515-29, November.
  4. Corden, W M, 1984. "Booming Sector and Dutch Disease Economics: Survey and Consolidation," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 36(3), pages 359-80, November.
  5. Ramos Mabugu, 2002. "Short-term effects of policy reform on tourism and the macroeconomy in Zimbabwe: Applied CGE analysis," Development Southern Africa, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(3), pages 419-430.
  6. Benjamin, Nancy C. & Devarajan, Shantayanan & Weiner, Robert J., 1989. "The Dutch disease in a developing country : Oil reserves in Cameroon," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1), pages 71-92, January.
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  1. repec:asi:ajoerj:2013:p:911-932 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. repec:asi:ajoerj:2013:p:884-894 is not listed on IDEAS
  3. Shi, Hui, 2012. "The efficiency of government promotion of inbound tourism: The case of Australia," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2711-2718.

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