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Mondialisation et pauvreté : les faiblesses des modèles d'équilibre général calculable



Au cœur de la controverse qui oppose actuellement les partisans de la mondialisation et les mouvements « alter-mondialistes » se trouve la question des effets de la libéralisation commerciale sur les pays en développement (PED), et donc en particulier sur l'un des problèmes majeurs de ces pays, à savoir la pauvreté. Le débat sur ce point est d'autant plus intense qu'il ne paraît pas possible de trancher la question par la simple observation des expériences passées. La réponse des économistes à ces problèmes s'est faite en faisant appel à la modélisation et l'évaluation empirique. En effet, étant donné que certaines interactions sont positives et d'autres négatives, il devient nécessaire de faire appel à des études quantitatives. C'est dans ce but que sont utilisés les modèles d'équilibre général calculable (MEGC). Ils visent à représenter de la manière la plus fidèle possible le fonctionnement de l'économie du pays étudié. En particulier ils permettent de tenir compte des nombreuses interactions (en particulier intersectorielles) et aussi d'isoler les effets de différents facteurs. Il s'agit ici de nuancer ces résultats en soulignant les nombreuses difficultés auxquelles se heurtent ces approches quantitatives. Les difficultés auxquelles s'expose l'évaluation quantitative des effets de la libéralisation commerciale sur la pauvreté relèvent principalement de trois catégories : celles relatives à la disponibilité et à la qualité des données, les difficultés concernant la définition et donc les mesures de la pauvreté, des inégalités et de la mondialisation, et enfin les difficultés méthodologiques liées aux méthodes de modélisation en équilibre général. In the debate between “pro” and “anti” globalization one of the main questions dealswith the effects of trade liberalization on developing countries, and especially on poverty. Theargumentation on this point is very controversial since it is impossible to answer this questionsimply by looking back to the past and observing what has happened to different countries:experiences are too diverse. Moreover some consequences of globalization may help to reducepoverty while some others clearly work against the poor. Economists recommend solving theseproblems by using models and empirical evaluation. Computable general equilibrium (CGE) modelsare used in this way. They are designed to explain as accurately as possible the running of theeconomy of the country studied. They are able to take into account many interactions (inparticular between different economic activities) and to separate the effects of differentfactors. By highlighting the various difficulties inherent to such modeling, this paper tries tomake clear why the results of these models are questionable. The main difficulties faced byquantitative evaluations of the impacts of trade liberalization on poverty may be displayed inthree categories: those associated to data availability and quality; those regarding thedefinitions and thus the measures of poverty, inequality and globalization; and eventually themethodological difficulties linked to such modeling in general equilibrium. (Full text inFrench)

Suggested Citation

  • Nicolas Hérault, 2003. "Mondialisation et pauvreté : les faiblesses des modèles d'équilibre général calculable," Documents de travail 87, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.
  • Handle: RePEc:mon:ceddtr:87

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Yoko Niimi & Puja Vasudeva Dutta & L. Alan Winters, 2015. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty Dynamics in Vietnam," World Scientific Book Chapters,in: Non-Tariff Barriers, Regionalism and Poverty Essays in Applied International Trade Analysis, chapter 16, pages 333-365 World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. John Cockburn, 2002. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty in Nepal: A Computable General Equilibrium Micro Simulation Analysis," CSAE Working Paper Series 2002-11, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    3. McCulloch, Neil, 2003. "The impact of structural reforms on poverty : a simple methodology with extensions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3124, The World Bank.
    4. Maurizio Bussolo & John Whalley, 2003. "Globalisation in Developing Countries: The Role of Transaction Costs in Explaining Economic Performance in India," OECD Development Centre Working Papers 219, OECD Publishing.
    5. Milanovic, Branko, 2002. "Can we discern the effect of globalization on income distribution? evidence from household budget surveys," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2876, The World Bank.
    6. Harrison, Glenn W. & Rutherford, Thomas F. & Tarr,David & Gurgel, Angelo, 2003. "Regional, multilateral, and unilateral trade policies on MERCOSUR for growth and poverty reduction in Brazil," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3051, The World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Nicolas Hérault, 2004. "Un modèle d'équilibre général calculable (MEGC) pour évaluer les effets de l'ouverture au commerce international : le cas de l'Afrique du Sud," Documents de travail 102, Groupe d'Economie du Développement de l'Université Montesquieu Bordeaux IV.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I32 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Measurement and Analysis of Poverty
    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models


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    1. Mondialisation


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