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What we do and don’t know about trade liberalization and poverty reduction

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  • Rob Vos

Abstract

Strong opinions about the impact of globalization on poverty are not always backed by robust factual evidence. As argued in this paper, however, it is not all that easy to lay our hands on ‘robust’ facts. Quantitative analyses of trade liberalization appear highly sensitive to basic modelling and parameter assumptions. Altering these could turn the expectation that, for instance, Africa’s poor stand to gain from further trade opening under the Doha Round into one in which they would stand to lose. Most studies agree though that trade opening probably adds to aggregate welfare, but gains are small and unevenly distributed.

Suggested Citation

  • Rob Vos, 2007. "What we do and don’t know about trade liberalization and poverty reduction," Working Papers 50, United Nations, Department of Economics and Social Affairs.
  • Handle: RePEc:une:wpaper:50
    as

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    File URL: http://www.un.org/esa/desa/papers/2007/wp50_2007.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Francisco Rodríguez, 2006. "Openness and Growth: What Have We Learned?," Wesleyan Economics Working Papers 2006-011, Wesleyan University, Department of Economics.
    2. Dani Rodrik & Arvind Subramanian & Francesco Trebbi, 2004. "Institutions Rule: The Primacy of Institutions Over Geography and Integration in Economic Development," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(2), pages 131-165, June.
    3. Ocampo, Jose Antonio & Taylor, Lance, 1998. "Trade Liberalisation in Developing Economies: Modest Benefits but Problems with Productivity Growth, Macro Prices, and Income Distribution," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 108(450), pages 1523-1546, September.
    4. Gustavo Márquez & Carmen Pagés, 1997. "Trade and Employment: Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 4099, Inter-American Development Bank.
    5. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    6. Gustavo Márquez & Carmen Pagés, 1997. "Trade and Employment: Evidence from Latin America and the Caribbean," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 6064, Inter-American Development Bank.
    7. Dewatripont, Mathias & Michel, Gilles, 1987. "On closure rules, homogeneity and dynamics in applied general equilibrium models," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 65-76, June.
    8. Currie, Janet & Harrison, Ann E, 1997. "Sharing the Costs: The Impact of Trade Reform on Capital and Labor in Morocco," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 15(3), pages 44-71, July.
    9. Yvan Decreux & Lionel Fontagné, 2006. "A Quantitative Assessment of the Outcome of the Doha Development Agenda," Working Papers 2006-10, CEPII research center.
    10. Feenstra, Robert C. & Hanson, Gordon H., 1997. "Foreign direct investment and relative wages: Evidence from Mexico's maquiladoras," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-4), pages 371-393, May.
    11. Murshed, S. Mansoob, 2004. "When Does Natural Resource Abundance Lead to a Resource Curse?," Discussion Papers 24137, International Institute for Environment and Development, Environmental Economics Programme.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Nadia Belhaj Hassine & Veronique Robichaud & Bernard Decaluwé, 2010. "Agricultural Trade Liberalization, Productivity Gain and Poverty Alleviation: A General Equilibrium Analysis," Working Papers 519, Economic Research Forum, revised 05 Jan 2010.
    2. Serino, L.A., 2009. "Positive natural resource shocks and domestic adjustments in a semi-industrialized economy: Argentina in the 2004-2007 period," ISS Working Papers - General Series 18709, International Institute of Social Studies of Erasmus University Rotterdam (ISS), The Hague.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    computable general equilibrium models; trade policy; economic integration; trade and labour market interactions; welfare and poverty; international linkages to development; foreign exchange policy;

    JEL classification:

    • C68 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Computable General Equilibrium Models
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • F16 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade and Labor Market Interactions
    • I3 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty
    • O19 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - International Linkages to Development; Role of International Organizations
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy

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