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Long-run impacts of China's WTO accession on farm-nonfarm income inequality and rural poverty

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Huang, Jikun
  • Ianchovichina, Elena

Many fear China's accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO) will impoverish its rural people by way of greater import competition in its agricultural markets. Anderson, Huang, and Ianchovichina explore that possibility bearing in mind that, even if producer prices of some (land-intensive) farm products fall, prices of other (labor-intensive) farm products could rise. Also, the removal of restrictions on exports of textiles and clothing could boost town and village enterprises, so demand for unskilled labor for nonfarm work in rural areas may grow even if demand for farm labor in aggregate falls. New estimates, from the global economywide numerical simulation model known as GTAP, of the likely changes in agricultural and other product prices as a result of WTO accession are drawn on to examine empirically the factor reward implications of China's WTO accession. The results suggest farm-nonfarm and Western-Eastern income inequality may well rise in China but rural-urban income inequality need not. The authors conclude with some policy suggestions for alleviating any pockets of farm household poverty that may emerge as a result of WTO accession.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3052.

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Date of creation: 31 May 2003
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3052
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  1. Sicular, Terry, 1988. "Plan and Market in China's Agricultural Commerce," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 283-307, April.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Yao, Shunli, 2002. "China, GMOs and World Trade in Agricultural and Textile Products," CEPR Discussion Papers 3171, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Kanbur, Ravi & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "Fifty Years Of Regional Inequality In China: A Journey Through Revolution, Reform And Openness," Working Papers 7236, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  4. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Welfare Impacts of China's Accession to the World Trade Organization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(1), pages 29-57.
  5. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521392785 is not listed on IDEAS
  6. Ianchovichina, Elena & Martin, William, 2003. "Economic impacts of China's accession to the World Trade Organization," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3053, The World Bank.
  7. Will Martin, 2001. "Implications of reform and WTO accession for China' agricultural policies," The Economics of Transition, The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, vol. 9(3), pages 717-742, November.
  8. W. Jill Harrison & K.R. Pearson, 1994. "Computing Solutions for Large General Equilibrium Models Using GEMPACK," Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre Working Papers ip-64, Victoria University, Centre of Policy Studies/IMPACT Centre.
  9. Anderson, Kym, 1993. "Lobbying Incentives and the Pattern of Protection in Rich and Poor Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  10. Fan, Shenggen & Fang, Cheng & Zhang, Xiaobo, 2001. "How agricultural research affects urban poverty in developing countries: the case of China," EPTD discussion papers 83, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  11. Hazell, P. B. R. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2001. "Agricultural research and poverty reduction:," 2020 vision discussion papers 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  12. Schultz, Theodore W, 1975. "The Value of the Ability to Deal with Disequilibria," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 13(3), pages 827-46, September.
  13. Winters, L. Alan, 2000. "Trade, Trade Policy and Poverty: What Are The Links?," CEPR Discussion Papers 2382, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Terry Sicular & Yaohui Zhao, 2002. "Earnings and Labor Mobility in Rural China: Implications for China's WTO Entry," University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute Working Papers 20028, University of Western Ontario, Economic Policy Research Institute.
  15. Scott Rozelle & Albert Park & Jikun Huang & Hehui Jin, 1997. "Liberalization and Rural Market Integration in China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 635-642.
  16. Kala Krishna & Cemile Yavas, 2002. "When Does Trade Hurt? Market, Transition and Developing Economies," NBER Working Papers 8995, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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