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Why gradualism?


  • Halvor Mehlum


A Ramsey model for a two-sector economy, comprising a labour intensive non-traded sector and a capital intensive traded sector, is used to analyse the transition following trade liberalization. Liberalization takes the form of removing a tariff wedge that benefited the non-traded sector. This increases overall productivity of capital in the short run, and demand for labour declines. In the presence of a binding minimum real wage this leads to transitional unemployment. In this case, gradualism - in the form of gradually removing the tariff wedge - can be justified. Through gradualism the protection for the labour intensive non-traded sector is prolonged, leading to reduced unemployment in the transition phase.

Suggested Citation

  • Halvor Mehlum, 1998. "Why gradualism?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 7(3), pages 279-297.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jitecd:v:7:y:1998:i:3:p:279-297 DOI: 10.1080/09638199800000015

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. O. Galor & H. M. Polemarchakis, 1987. "Intertemporal Equilibrium and the Transfer Paradox," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(1), pages 147-156.
    2. Chichilnisky, Graciela, 1980. "Basic goods, the effects of commodity transfers and the international economic order," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 505-519, December.
    3. Haaparanta, Pertti, 1989. "The intertemporal effects of international transfers," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(3-4), pages 371-382, May.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Chisik, Richard, 2003. "Gradualism in free trade agreements: a theoretical justification," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(2), pages 367-397, March.
    2. Robert Tatum, 2005. "Sustaining imperfectly credible trade liberalization: Do the rate of tariff reduction and the degree of labour mobility matter?," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 407-435.
    3. Mehlum, Halvor, 2001. "Speed of adjustment and self-fulfilling failure of economic reform," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 149-167, February.


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