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The Effects of the Colombian Trade Liberalization on Urban Poverty

In: Globalization and Poverty

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  • Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg
  • Nina Pavcnik

Abstract

We examine whether the Colombian trade reform can explain any of Colombia's decline in urban poverty between 1984 and 1995. Our approach focuses on short- and medium- run channels through which trade reform could affect poverty. Despite the chronological coincidence of the poverty reduction with the trade reforms over this period, we do not observe any evidence of a link between poverty and tariff reductions operating through the labor income channel. Our descriptive analysis suggests that although poverty is predominately concentrated among individuals living in households with unemployed head, it is non-negligible among the employed and especially those working in the informal sector and those paid below minimum wage. Industry affiliation also plays a role. However, we find no evidence that the trade reforms reduced poverty via any of the above variables in a significant way. We cannot rule out the possibility that trade liberalization has contributed to the poverty reduction through general equilibrium effects, and in particular through its potential role in lowering the prices of goods consumed primarily by the poor.
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Suggested Citation

  • Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "The Effects of the Colombian Trade Liberalization on Urban Poverty," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 241-290 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:0106
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Porto, Guido G., 2006. "Using survey data to assess the distributional effects of trade policy," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(1), pages 140-160, September.
    2. Juan Carlos Hallak & James Levinsohn, 2004. "Fooling Ourselves: Evaluating the Globalization and Growth Debate," Working Papers 509, Research Seminar in International Economics, University of Michigan.
    3. L. ALAN WINTERS & NEIL McCULLOCH & ANDREW McKAY, 2015. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Non-Tariff Barriers, Regionalism and Poverty Essays in Applied International Trade Analysis, chapter 14, pages 271-314 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    4. Attanasio, Orazio & Goldberg, Pinelopi K. & Pavcnik, Nina, 2004. "Trade reforms and wage inequality in Colombia," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 74(2), pages 331-366, August.
    5. Koujianou Goldberg, Pinelopi & Pavcnik, Nina, 2003. "The response of the informal sector to trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 463-496, December.
    6. William Maloney & Jairo Mendez, 2004. "Measuring the Impact of Minimum Wages. Evidence from Latin America," NBER Chapters,in: Law and Employment: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean, pages 109-130 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Chen, Shaohua & Ravallion, Martin, 2001. "How Did the World's Poorest Fare in the 1990s?," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 47(3), pages 283-300, September.
    8. Feenstra, R.C. & Hanson, G.H., 1995. "Foreign Investment, Outsourcing and Relative Wages," Papers 95-14, California Davis - Institute of Governmental Affairs.
    9. Adriana Kugler, 1999. "The Impact of Firing Costs on Turnover and Unemployment: Evidence from the Colombian Labour Market Reform," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 6(3), pages 389-410, August.
    10. Angus Deaton & Christina Paxson, 1997. "Poverty Among Children And The Elderly In Developing Countries," Working Papers 992, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Research on Child Wellbeing..
    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. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
    13. Pinelopi K. Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2001. "Trade Protection and Wages: Evidence from the Colombian Trade Reforms," NBER Working Papers 8575, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    14. Ravallion, Martin, 2004. "Competing concepts of inequality in the globalization debate," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3243, The World Bank.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Ural Marchand, Beyza, 2012. "Tariff pass-through and the distributional effects of trade liberalization," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 265-281.
    2. Brian, McCaig, 2011. "Exporting out of poverty: Provincial poverty in Vietnam and U.S. market access," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 102-113, September.
    3. Eduardo Lora & Johanna Fajardo-González, 2016. "Employment and taxes in Latin America: An empirical study of the effects of payroll, corporate income and value-added taxes on labor outcomes," REVISTA CUADERNOS DE ECONOMÍA, UN - RCE - CID, vol. 35(Especial ), pages 75-117, January.
    4. repec:eee:inecon:v:109:y:2017:i:c:p:31-42 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Carolina Guevara, 2015. "The effect of trade on agglomeration within regions," Working Papers 1530, Groupe d'Analyse et de Théorie Economique Lyon St-Étienne (GATE Lyon St-Étienne), Université de Lyon.
    6. Marjit, Sugata & Kar, Saibal & Chaudhuri, Sarbajit, 2011. "Recession in the skilled sector and implications for informal wage," Research in Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(3), pages 158-163, September.
    7. Carolina Guevara, 2015. "The effect of trade on agglomeration within regions," Working Papers halshs-01233389, HAL.
    8. Chahir Zaki, 2011. "On Trade Policies and Wage Disparity in Egypt: Evidence from Microeconomic Data," Working Papers 606, Economic Research Forum, revised 08 Jan 2011.
    9. repec:eee:chieco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:97-109 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. Paolo Giordano & Kun Li, 2012. "An Updated Assessment of the Trade and Poverty Nexus in Latin America," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4209, Inter-American Development Bank.
    11. repec:idb:brikps:72378 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F10 - International Economics - - Trade - - - General
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • J31 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs - - - Wage Level and Structure; Wage Differentials

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