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Trade, foreign exchange, and energy policies in the Islamic Republic of Iran : reform agenda, economic implications, and impact on the poor

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  • Jensen, Jesper
  • Tarr, David

Abstract

The Islamic Republic of Iran has committed itself to substantial trade and market reform in its Third Five-Year Development Plan. It started out with nontariff barriers on all products, a dual exchange rate regime with the market rate more than four times the official rate, and domestic energy subsidies equal to about 90 percent of the cost of energy products. Many of these policies were justified as helping the poor. To analyze the effect of the reforms, separately and together, the authors develop a multisector computable general equilibrium model with 10 rural and 10 urban households. They find that the combined reforms could generate welfare gains equal to about 50 percent of aggregate consumer income. These gains reflect the large initial distortions-for example, energy subsidies equal to about 18 percent of GDP, and retail energy prices equal to about 10 percent of world market prices. Separately, trade reform would lead to gains of about 5 percent of income, exchange rate reform to gains of 7 percent of income, and energy pricing reform to gains of 33 percent of income. The authors'results show that well-intentioned commodity subsidy policies for the poor can have perverse effects. Direct income payments to all households (not just the poor) would vastly increase the incomes of the poor compared with the status quo. Moreover, if the combined reforms were implemented, the poorest rural household would receive gains equal to about 290 percent of its income, and the poorest urban household gains equal to about 140 percent of its income.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 2768.

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Date of creation: 31 Jan 2002
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:2768

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Keywords: Environmental Economics&Policies; Health Economics&Finance; Banks&Banking Reform; Economic Theory&Research; Payment Systems&Infrastructure; Economic Theory&Research; Environmental Economics&Policies; TF054105-DONOR FUNDED OPERATION ADMINISTRATION FEE INCOME AND EXPENSE ACCOUNT; Health Economics&Finance; Economic Stabilization;

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References

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  1. Morkre, Morris & Tarr, David G., 1993. "Reforming Hungarian agricultural trade policy : a quantitative evaluation," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1185, The World Bank.
  2. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 1997. "Economic implications for Turkey of a Customs Union with the European Union," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 41(3-5), pages 861-870, April.
  3. de Melo, Jaime & Tarr, David, 1990. "Welfare Costs of U.S. Quotas in Textiles, Steel and Autos," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 72(3), pages 489-97, August.
  4. de Melo, Jaime & Tarr, David, 1993. "Industrial Policy in the Presence of Wage Distortions: The Case of the U.S. Auto and Steel Industries," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 34(4), pages 833-51, November.
  5. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr, David G., 2002. "Trade liberalization, product variety and growth in a small open economy: a quantitative assessment," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 56(2), pages 247-272, March.
  6. Hope, Einar & Singh, Balbir, 1995. "Energy price increases in developing countries : case studies of Colombia, Ghana, Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, and Zimbabwe," Policy Research Working Paper Series 1442, The World Bank.
  7. Rutherford, Thomas F. & Rutstrom, E. Elisabet & Tarr, David, 1997. "Morocco's free trade agreement with the EU: A quantitative assessment," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 14(2), pages 237-269, April.
  8. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Tarr, David G, 1997. "Quantifying the Uruguay Round," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 107(444), pages 1405-30, September.
  9. Harrison, Glenn W & Rutherford, Thomas F & Tarr, David G, 1993. "Trade Reform in the Partially Liberalized Economy of Turkey," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 7(2), pages 191-217, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Breisinger, Clemens & Engelke, Wilfried & Ecker, Olivier, 2011. "Petroleum subsidies in Yemen: Leveraging reform for development," IFPRI discussion papers 1071, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. James Boyce & Matthew Riddle & Mark D. Brenner, 2005. "A Chinese Sky Trust? Distributional Impacts of Carbon charges and Revenue Recycling in China," Working Papers wp_brenner_riddle_boyce, Political Economy Research Institute, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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