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Who Gains from Trade Protection in Ghana? A Household-Level Analysis

  • Charles Ackah,
  • Oliver Morrissey,
  • Simon Appleton

In this paper, we present one of the first direct microeconometric studies of the impact of trade protection on household income in Ghana. Tariff measures at the two-digit ISIC level are matched to Ghanaian household survey data for 1991/92 and 1998/99 to represent the tariff for the industry in which the household head is employed. We examine the possibility that the effect of protection on income might not be uniform across households characterized by different skill levels. Specifically, we allow the relationship between welfare and trade policy to differ for households with different levels of education. In the absence of suitable panel data, the analysis applies pseudo-panel econometric techniques to our repeated cross-section data. This method has rarely been used in poverty analysis. The results suggest that higher tariffs are associated with higher incomes for households employed in the sector, so tariff reductions may reduce incomes (and increase poverty), at least in the short run, but with differing effects across skill groups. We find that this positive effect of protection is disproportionately greater for low skilled labour households, suggesting an erosion of welfare of unskilled labour households would result from trade liberalization. We conclude that contemplating trade liberalization without recognizing the complementary role of human capital investment may be a sub-optimal policy for the poor, at least in the short-run.

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Paper provided by University of Nottingham, CREDIT in its series Discussion Papers with number 07/02.

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Handle: RePEc:not:notcre:07/02
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  8. Nijman, T.E. & Verbeek, M.J.C.M., 1993. "Minimum MSE estimation of a regression model with fixed effects from a series of cross sections," Other publications TiSEM 34c1104a-a64b-4030-be99-b, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
  9. Ann Harrison, 2007. "Globalization and Poverty," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number harr06-1, August.
  10. Ann Harrison & Gordon Hanson, 1999. "Who Gains from Trade Reform? Some Remaining Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 6915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Görg, Holger & Strobl, Eric, 2002. "Relative Wages, Openness and Skill-Biased Technological Change," IZA Discussion Papers 596, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  14. Petia Topalova, 2007. "Trade Liberalization, Poverty and Inequality: Evidence from Indian Districts," NBER Chapters, in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 291-336 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. Verbeek, Marno & Nijman, Theo, 1993. "Minimum MSE estimation of a regression model with fixed effects from a series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1-2), pages 125-136, September.
  16. Deaton, Angus, 1985. "Panel data from time series of cross-sections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 109-126.
  17. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  18. Anne O. Krueger, 1983. "Trade and Employment in Developing Countries, Volume 3: Synthesis and Conclusions," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number krue83-1, August.
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