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Trade Policy and the Household Distribution of Income

  • Francois, Joseph
  • Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo

We explore the relationship between import protection and the household distribution of income. We first develop a general-equilibrium mapping from tariffs to household inequality measures. This also yields predictions for linkages between tariffs, development level, and observed household inequality. Working with a new dataset, we then examine cross-country variation in inequality with respect to import protection. Results are consistent with predictions of the factor-intensity model of trade. Regression results suggest that import protection makes income distribution worse for countries in labour-intensive diversification cones. This relationship shifts to one of falling inequality as incomes rise and we move to capital-intensive diversification cones.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 4436.

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Date of creation: Jun 2004
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:4436
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  1. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  2. Burgess, David F, 1976. "Tariffs and Income Distribution: Some Empirical Evidence for the United States," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(1), pages 17-45, February.
  3. Antonio Spilimbergo & Juan Luis Londoño & Miguel Székely, 1997. "Income Distribution, Factor Endowments, and Trade Openness," Research Department Publications 4088, Inter-American Development Bank, Research Department.
  4. Joseph Francois & Hugo Rojas-Romagosa, 2007. "The Construction and Interpretation of Combined Cross-Section and Time-Series Inequality Datasets," IIDE Discussion Papers 20070805, Institue for International and Development Economics.
  5. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness," NBER Working Papers 7224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Mussa, Michael, 1979. "The two-sector model in terms of its dual : A geometric exposition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(4), pages 513-526, November.
  7. Sen, Amartya, 1974. "Informational bases of alternative welfare approaches : Aggregation and income distribution," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 387-403, November.
  8. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  9. Atkinson, Anthony B., 1970. "On the measurement of inequality," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 2(3), pages 244-263, September.
  10. Deardorff, Alan V., 1979. "Weak links in the chain of comparative advantage," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 9(2), pages 197-209, May.
  11. Galor, Oded, 1994. "Tariffs, Income Distribution and Welfare in a Small Overlapping-Generations Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 173-92, February.
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