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The Gender and Poverty Impacts of Trade Liberalization in Senegal

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  • John Cockburn
  • Erwin Corong
  • Bernard Decaluwé
  • Ismaël Fofana
  • Véronique Robichaud

Abstract

Developing countries are deeply engaged in trade negotiations at the bilateral, regional and international (WTO) levels. As imports, exports and tariff duties all occupy an important part of their economies, far-reaching impacts on production, labor and capital markets, household incomes and, perhaps most importantly, economic growth will indubitably ensue. As men and women occupy very different roles in these economies, particularly in terms of the import and export orientation of the sectors in which they work, they will be affected very differently by these reforms. To anticipate these changes, a dynamic economy-wide model is developed with an application to Senegal. Whereas most similar existing studies consider the comparative static resource reallocation effects of trade reforms, ours is the first to focus on the growth effects (“dynamic gains from trade”), which are thought to be possibly much larger. The trade-productivity link is revealed to be the strongest growth channel, raising GDP by over three percentage points by the end of our 15 year simulation period. Trade liberalization is found to increase the gender wage gap in favor of men, especially among unskilled workers, as men are more active in export-oriented sectors such as cash crops and mining whereas women contribute more to import-competing sectors such as food crops. Furthermore, the ensuing growth effects further widen the over-all gender wage gap, as the productivity gains from increased openness are greatest in female-intensive sectors in which imports rise markedly. Thus, this suggests the need to implement policies aimed at increasing both unskilled and skilled women’s exposure in labor-intensive export industries, which is currently male dominated. A linked microsimulation analysis, based on a survey of Senegalese households, show that trade liberalization reduces poverty in Senegal, particularly in rural areas. While the fall in the relative wages of rural workers would initially lead us to believe that rural households would lose the most from trade liberalization, they are in fact compensated by greater consumer price savings, given that they consume more goods from the initially protected agricultural and agro-industrial sectors.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 1013.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:1013

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Keywords: Senegal; Trade; Gender; Poverty; Growth;

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References

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  1. Markusen, James R & Svensson, Lars E O, 1985. "Trade in Goods and Factors with International Differences in Technology," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 26(1), pages 175-92, February.
  2. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2000. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," Boston University - Institute for Economic Development 105, Boston University, Institute for Economic Development.
  3. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
  4. Wong, Kar-yiu, 1986. "Are international trade and factor mobility substitutes?," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1-2), pages 25-43, August.
  5. Mark J. Melitz, 2002. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," NBER Working Papers 8881, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. L Alan Winters, 2004. "Trade Liberalisation and Economic Performance: An Overview," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(493), pages F4-F21, 02.
  7. Azam, Jean-Paul & Dia, Magueye & Tsimpo, Clarence & Wodon, Quentin, 2007. "Has Growth in Senegal After the 1994 Devaluation Been Pro-Poor?," MPRA Paper 11110, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Peter Gustafsson & Paul Segerstrom, 2010. "Trade Liberalization and Productivity Growth," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 18(2), pages 207-228, 05.
  9. Kim, Euysung, 2000. "Trade liberalization and productivity growth in Korean manufacturing industries: price protection, market power, and scale efficiency," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(1), pages 55-83, June.
  10. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2004. "Gainers and losers from trade reform in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3368, The World Bank.
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Cited by:
  1. Jean-Marc Philip, 2006. "Le recours aux MEGC pour l’analyse de l’accord de partenariat économique entre l’union européenne et les pays ACP : une revue de la littérature," CAE Working Papers 92, Aix-Marseille Université, CERGAM.
  2. John Cockburn & Erwin Corong & Bernard Decaluwé & Ismaël Fofana & Véronique Robichaud, 2010. "Case Study: The growth and poverty impacts of trade liberalization in Senegal," International Journal of Microsimulation, Interational Microsimulation Association, vol. 3(1), pages 109-113.

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