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On the Mechanics of Trade-Induced Structural Transformation

  • Sylvain Dessy
  • Flaubert Mbiekop
  • Stéphane Pallage

Gains from trade come from a certain degree of specialisation among trade partners. Specialisation in the case of an agriculture-based developing country might be feared to imply a higher reliance than ever on low skill laobur. Trade might thus be seen as a step away from the much awaited structural transformation of the economy, which can only come with increases in agricultural productivity. In this paper, we suggest that it needs not be the case. We show that trade openness can in fact trigger the structural transformation of such an agrarian society. It can induce a higher reliance on human capital accumulation an produce the necessary productivity gains for an economy to pick up. Our dynamic general equilibrium model provides a clear illustration of the mechanics behind such structural transformation.

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Paper provided by CIRPEE in its series Cahiers de recherche with number 0529.

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Date of creation: 2005
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Handle: RePEc:lvl:lacicr:0529
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