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Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles

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  • Ann Harrison
  • Gordon Hanson

Abstract

This paper focuses on three unresolved issues with regard to the impact of trade reform. First, many studies linking trade reform to long run growth are surprisingly fragile. To illustrate the problems with this literature, we examine a popular measure of openness recently introduced by Sachs and Warner (1995). We show that their measure fails to establish a robust link between more open trade policies and long run growth. The second puzzle we identify is the small impact of trade reform on employment in developing countries. Finally, we analyze evidence on the relationship between trade reform and rising wage inequality, focusing on the 1985 Mexican trade reform. Wage inequality in Mexico rose after the reform, which is puzzling in a Heckscher-Ohlin context if Mexico has a comparative advantage in producing low skill-intensive goods.

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  • Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:6915
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    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions

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