Are Price Controls Necessarily Bad? The Case of Vietnam
Most economists’ instinctive reaction to price controls is that they are harmful. If enforced, they result in shortages and resource misallocation. With weak enforcement they often result in black markets, and high transaction costs. In this paper we assess the pros and cons of rice price controls in Vietnam given these instincts. We argue that these price controls fix producer prices and allow government marketing agencies to sell at higher prices and hence are, in part, a revenue raising device. As such they may be part of an efficient tax mix, particularly so since agricultural incomes and production go untaxed under the formal tax system. We also argue that such controls can act to dampen costly domestic adjustments in the face of volatile world prices. We develop a multi sector multi household general equilibrium model to numerically analyse the consequences of these price controls, and show that this system can be supported as welfare enhancing under conditions which currently prevail in the Vietnamese economy. The case against price controls may hold in other circumstances, but in this case the arguments seem to be more nuanced.
|Date of creation:||Feb 2002|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Department of Economics, Reference Centre, Social Science Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada N6A 5C2|
Phone: 519-661-2111 Ext.85244
Web page: http://economics.uwo.ca/research/research_papers/department_working_papers.html
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Nicholas Minot & Francesco Goletti, 1998. "Export Liberalization and Household Welfare: The Case of Rice in Vietnam," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(4), pages 738-749.
- Dawkins, Christina & Whalley, John, 1997. "Tax Structure and Revenue Instability under External Shocks: Some General Equilibrium Calculations for Cote d'Ivoire," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(1), pages 23-33, February.
- Deaton, Angus, 1989. "Rice Prices and Income Distribution in Thailand: A Non-parametric Analysis," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(395), pages 1-37, Supplemen.
- Newbery, David M, 1989. "The Theory of Food Price Stabilisation," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(398), pages 1065-1082, December.
- Servaas Storm, 1999. "Foodgrain price stabilisation in an open economy: A CGE analysis of variable trade levies for India," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(2), pages 136-159.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:uwo:uwowop:20021. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.