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Trade Liberalization and Poverty in Nepal: an Applied General Equilibrium Analysis

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  • Prakash Raj Sapkota
  • John Cockburn

Abstract

Nepal aggressively liberalized its foreign trade during the 1990s. This paper attempts to estimate the impact of trade liberalization on household welfare and poverty in Nepal through the construction of a regional CGE model. The model disaggregates factors of production - capital, land, and labor - by region (urban, Terai and hills/mountains) in order to establish direct links between sector of activity, factor remuneration, and household income. In particular, certain activities are more intensive in factors from a given region (e.g. the manufacturing sector is more intensive in urban factors of production and the agriculture sector is more intensive in Terai factor of production). Regional factor remuneration in turn maps into regional household income. We find that trade liberalization reduces the nominal returns to urban factors of production in comparison with rural factors of production, resulting in a reduction in the relative income of urban households. Rural and urban households consume roughly the same share of industrial goods, but rural households consume relatively more agricultural goods and fewer services. As the fall in consumer prices in the latter two sectors are similar, there is little rural-urban difference in the variation in consumer price indices. Consumer prices generally fall in roughly the same proportion as nominal incomes such that there are negligible welfare changes. However, poverty falls substantially, with the greatest impact in rural Terai, followed by the rural hills and the mountain region, and least in urban areas.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by PEP-MPIA in its series Working Papers MPIA with number 2008-13.

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Date of creation: 2008
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:mpiacr:2008-13

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Keywords: Computable general equilibrium modeling; international trade; poverty; Nepal;

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References

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  1. Dawkins, Christina & Srinivasan, T.N. & Whalley, John, 2001. "Calibration," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 58, pages 3653-3703 Elsevier.
  2. John Cockburn, 2004. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty in Nepal A Computable General Equilibrium Micro Simulation Analysis," Development and Comp Systems 0409012, EconWPA.
  3. Chia, Ngee-Choon & Wahba, Sadek & Whalley, John, 1994. "Poverty-Reducing Targeting Programmes: A General Equilibrium Approach," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 3(2), pages 309-38, October.
  4. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  5. Decaluwe, B. & Patry, A. & Savard, L. & Thorbecke, E., 1999. "Poverty Analysis Within a General Equilibrium Framework," Papers 9909, Laval - Recherche en Politique Economique.
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Cited by:
  1. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Antonio Estache & Luc Savard, 2008. "Intra-Country Distributional Impact of Policies to Fight Climate Change: A Survey," Working Papers ECARES 2008_038, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  2. John Gilbert, 2008. "Trade Policy, Poverty, and Income Distribution in CGE Models: An Application to SAFTA," Working Papers 2008-02, Utah State University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Dec 2008.
  3. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Bernard Decaluwé & Luc Savard, 2008. "Poverty, income distribution and CGE micro-simulation modeling: Does the functional form of distribution matter?," Journal of Economic Inequality, Springer, vol. 6(2), pages 149-184, June.
  4. Pauw, Kalie, 2005. "Forming Representative Household and Factor Groups for a South African SAM," Technical Paper Series 15620, PROVIDE Project.
  5. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Antonio Estache & Luc Savard, 2008. "Distributional impact of global warming environmental policies: A survey," Cahiers de recherche 08-14, Departement d'Economique de la Faculte d'administration à l'Universite de Sherbrooke.
  6. Dorothée Boccanfuso & Luc Savard, 2011. "The Food Crisis and its Impacts on Poverty in Senegal and Mali: Crossed Destinies," Development Policy Review, Overseas Development Institute, vol. 29(2), pages 211-247, 03.
  7. McDonald, Scott & Punt, Cecilia, 2005. "General equilibrium modelling in South Africa: What the future holds," Agrekon, Agricultural Economics Association of South Africa (AEASA), vol. 44(1), March.

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