Trade Liberalization and Poverty in Nepal: an Applied General Equilibrium Analysis
AbstractNepal 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 InfoPaper provided by PEP-MPIA in its series Working Papers MPIA with number 2008-13.
Date of creation: 2008
Date of revision:
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Computable general equilibrium modeling; international trade; poverty; Nepal;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D33 - Microeconomics - - Distribution - - - Factor Income Distribution
- D58 - Microeconomics - - General Equilibrium and Disequilibrium - - - Computable and Other Applied General Equilibrium Models
- E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
- F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
- F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
- I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
- O15 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Economic Development: Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration
- O53 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2008-12-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-CMP-2008-12-01 (Computational Economics)
- NEP-DEV-2008-12-01 (Development)
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