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The impact of trade liberalization on household welfare in vietnam

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  • Seshan, Ganesh

Abstract

What is the effect of trade liberalization on households in developing countries? To what extent do the poor benefit when local markets are made more accommodative to international trade? The author empirically analyzes the distributional impact of trade policies on households in a low-income country with a large rural economy where labor markets are imperfect. The methodology in this paper, which can be applied to various types of labor market conditions, relates changes in prices attributed to trade reforms to changes in household welfare, income distribution, and poverty using theoretically consistent measures of producer and consumer welfare. The author investigates the effects on poverty and income distribution of national and international market integration in Vietnam's rice sectorand fertilizer market between 1993 and 1998, a period of ongoing market reforms when the national poverty rate fell sharply from 59 percent to 37 percent. He finds that when the effects of opening the rice and fertilizer market are isolated, Vietnam's agricultural trade reforms did not contribute to a significant improvement in overall household welfare or decline in poverty over this period. Nonetheless, the liberalization exercise can explain about half of the reduction in poverty incidence among farm households. The results also show that liberalization did not exacerbate income inequality, but did generate gains for rural households across the distribution, particularly the poor, at the expense of urban households.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3541.

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Date of creation: 01 Mar 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3541

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Keywords: Access to Markets; Crops&Crop Management Systems; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access;

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  1. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1992. "Household Composition, Labor Markets, and Labor Demand: Testing for Separation in Agricultural Household Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 287-322, March.
  2. Angus Deaton & Salman Zaidi, 2002. "Guidelines for Constructing Consumption Aggregates for Welfare Analysis," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 14101, October.
  3. Jacoby, Hanan G, 1993. "Shadow Wages and Peasant Family Labour Supply: An Econometric Application to the Peruvian Sierra," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(4), pages 903-21, October.
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  5. Nicita, Alessandro, 2004. "Who benefited from trade liberalization in Mexico? Measuring the effects on household welfare," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3265, The World Bank.
  6. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  7. Ravallion, Martin & van de Walle, Dominique, 1991. "The impact on poverty of food pricing reforms: A welfare analysis for Indonesia," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 13(2), pages 281-299.
  8. Dwayne Benjamin & Loren Brandt, 2002. "Agriculture and Income Distribution in Rural Vietnam under Economic Reforms: A Tale of Two Regions," Working Papers benjamin-02-01, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
  9. Patricia Justino & Julie Litchfield, 2003. "Poverty Dynamics in Rural Vietnam: Winners and Losers During Reform," PRUS Working Papers 10, Poverty Research Unit at Sussex, University of Sussex.
  10. Loren Brandt & Dwayne Benjamin, 2002. "Property Rights, Labour Markets, and Efficiency in a Transition Economy: The Case of Rural China," William Davidson Institute Working Papers Series 518, William Davidson Institute at the University of Michigan.
  11. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2004. "Trade, Inequality, and Poverty: What Do We Know? Evidence from Recent Trade Liberalization Episodes in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 10593, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Dominique van de Walle & Dorothyjean Cratty, 2004. "Is the emerging non-farm market economy the route out of poverty in Vietnam?," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 12(2), pages 237-274, 06.
  13. Benjamin, Dwayne, 1995. "Can unobserved land quality explain the inverse productivity relationship?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 51-84, February.
  14. Porto, Guido G., 2003. "Trade reforms, market access, and poverty in Argentina," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3135, The World Bank.
  15. Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Rice Prices and Income Distribution in Thailand: A Non-parametric Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 1-37, Supplemen.
  16. Strauss, John, 1984. "Joint determination of food consumption and production in rural Sierra Leone : Estimates of a household-firm model," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 77-103.
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Cited by:
  1. Bakhshoodeh, M., 2010. "Impacts of world prices transmission to domestic rice markets in rural Iran," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 12-19, February.
  2. Klytchnikova, Irina & Diop, Ndiame, 2006. "Trade reforms, farm productivity, and poverty in Bangladesh," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3980, The World Bank.

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