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Welfare and Poverty Impacts of Policy Reforms in Bangladesh: A General Equilibrium Approach

  • Khondker, Bazlul H.
  • Raihan, Selim

Our study assesses the impacts of different policy reforms, such as domestic trade liberalisation, implementation of WTO agreements in the textile sector and WTO negotiations on the movement of natural persons, and examines their welfare and poverty implications at the household level in the economy of Bangladesh. We use a comparative static computable general equilibrium (CGE) model based on the 1995-96 Social Accounting Matrix (SAM) of the Bangladesh economy. This study carries out three simulations. The first simulation entails full liberalisation of tariffs and the resultant reduction in government revenues are mobilised by enhancing the existing production taxes and imposing new taxes on construction sector; in the second simulation, export of ready-made garments (RMG) are reduced by 25 percent; and in the third simulation the remittances are increased by 50 percent. Equivalent variations (EVs) and Foster-Greer-Thorbecke (FGT) measures are applied to estimate welfare and poverty changes respectively. The prime observation is that rural poverty, as measured by the head count ratio, is observed to increase under all three simulations. The gap and severity of the rural poor have also worsened in all three simulations indicating worse poverty profiles for the rural poor compared to the base-run scenario. Urban head count poverty has also deteriorated in the first and second simulations, while has improved only in the third simulation. The gap and severity of poverty for the urban population have, however, deteriorated in all three simulations.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/30588
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Paper provided by University of Manchester, Institute for Development Policy and Management (IDPM) in its series Centre on Regulation and Competition (CRC) Working papers with number 30588.

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Date of creation: 2004
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Handle: RePEc:ags:idpmcr:30588
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  1. Rizwana Siddiqui & A. R. Kemal, 2006. "Remittances, Trade Liberalisation, and Poverty in Pakistan : The Role of Excluded Variables in Poverty Change Analysis," Development Economics Working Papers 22224, East Asian Bureau of Economic Research.
  2. Walmsley, Terrie L. & Winters, L. Alan, 2005. "Relaxing the Restrictions on the Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: A Simulation Analysis," Journal of Economic Integration, Center for Economic Integration, Sejong University, vol. 20, pages 688-726.
  3. Decaluwe, B. & Patry, A. & Savard, L. & Thorbecke, E., 1999. "Poverty Analysis Within a General Equilibrium Framework," Cahiers de recherche 9909, Université Laval - Département d'économique.
  4. Harrison, Ann, 1996. "Openness and growth: A time-series, cross-country analysis for developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 48(2), pages 419-447, March.
  5. Rodríguez, Francisco & Rodrik, Dani, 1999. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Sceptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 2143, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
  7. Edwards, Sebastian, 1998. "Openness, Productivity and Growth: What Do We Really Know?," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(447), pages 383-98, March.
  8. Montfort Mlachila & Yongzheng Yang, 2004. "The End of Textiles Quotas; A Case Study of the Impacton Bangladesh," IMF Working Papers 04/108, International Monetary Fund.
  9. Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Martin, W. & Winters, L.A., 1995. "The Uruguay Round and the Developing Countries," World Bank - Discussion Papers 307, World Bank.
  11. Greenaway, David & Morgan, Wyn & Wright, Peter, 2002. "Trade liberalisation and growth in developing countries," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 67(1), pages 229-244, February.
  12. Arndt, Channing & Dorosh, Paul A. & Fontana, Marzia & Zohir, Sajjad & El-Said, Moataz & Lungren, Christen, 2002. "Opportunities and challenges in agriculture and garments," TMD discussion papers 107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  13. Thomas W. Hertel & Will Martin, 2000. "Liberalising Agriculture and Manufactures in a Millennium Round:Implications for Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 455-469, 04.
  14. Foster, James & Greer, Joel & Thorbecke, Erik, 1984. "A Class of Decomposable Poverty Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(3), pages 761-66, May.
  15. Diao, Xinshen & Somwaru, Agapi, 2001. "Impact of the MFA phase-out on the world economy," TMD discussion papers 79, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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