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Trade-Induced Changes in Economic Inequality: Assessment Issues and Policy Implications for Developing Countries

  • Chabe-Ferret, Sylvain
  • Gourdon, Julien
  • Marouani, Mohamed Ali
  • Voituriez, Tancrède

The starting point of this paper is given by country situations where trade liberalization is expected to be poverty and inequality alleviating in the long run while inducing a short run increase in poverty or in inequality. The question we ask is what are the distributive aspects of trade which are worth documenting to better help governments integrate trade policies within a global policy framework so as to enhance growth and reduce poverty and inequality. The method followed is a literature review, organized according to three different acceptations of fairness implied by the “Development” objective of world trade liberalization agenda. A “pro-development” trade liberalization agenda should first correct past unfairness in trade regime, which raises the broad issue of country level trade liberalization’s ex post impact assessment. It should equally reduce poverty, which points toward household level assessment. Last, because development is basically a dynamic process, the distributive-dynamic effects of trade liberalization are also considered. Across all these three definitions of fairness, the development objective of the Doha round proves to be an objective which trade liberalization cannot systematically achieve. A synthesis of our ten main results concludes the paper.

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Paper provided by Paris Dauphine University in its series Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine with number 123456789/4331.

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Date of creation: 2009
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Publication status: Published in Trade, globalization and sustainability impact assessment : A critical look at methods and outcomes, . pp. 19-44.Length: 25 pages
Handle: RePEc:dau:papers:123456789/4331
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