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The challenge of reducing subsidies and trade barriers

  • Anderson, Kym

This is one of 10 studies for the Copenhagen Consensus Project that sought to evaluate the most feasible opportunities to improve welfare globally and alleviate poverty in developing countries. The author argues that phasing out distortionary government subsidies and barriers to international trade will yield an extraordinarily high benefit-cost ratio. A survey is provided of recent estimates using global economy-wide simulation models of the benefits of doing that by way of the current Doha round of multilateral trade negotiations. Even if adjustment costs are several times as large as suggested by available estimates, the benefit-cost ratio from seizing this opportunity exceeds 20. That is much higher than the rewards from regional or bilateral trade agreements or from providing preferential access for least-developed countries'exports to high-income countries. Such reform would simultaneously contribute to alleviating several of the other key challenges reflected in the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3415.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2004
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3415
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  1. Romain Wacziarg & Karen Horn Welch, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," NBER Working Papers 10152, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Daniel Trefler, 2004. "The Long and Short of the Canada-U. S. Free Trade Agreement," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(4), pages 870-895, September.
  3. Lionel Fontagné & Jean-Louis Guérin & Sébastien Jean, 2005. "Market Access Liberalisation in the Doha Round: Scenarios and Assessment," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(8), pages 1073-1094, 08.
  4. John Whalley, 1984. "Trade Liberalization among Major World Trading Areas," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262231204, June.
  5. Pomfret, Richard, 2001. "The Economics of Regional Trading Arrangements," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199248872.
  6. Rodrik, Dani, 2005. "Growth Strategies," Handbook of Economic Growth, in: Philippe Aghion & Steven Durlauf (ed.), Handbook of Economic Growth, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 14, pages 967-1014 Elsevier.
  7. Maurice Schiff & L. Alan Winters, 2003. "Regional Integration and Development," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 15172.
  8. Winters, L. Alan, 1990. "Labour Adjustment Costs and British Footwear Protection," CEPR Discussion Papers 376, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  9. L. Alan Winters, 2002. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty: What are the Links?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1339-1367, 09.
  10. Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2002. "The World Distribution of Income (estimated from Individual Country Distributions)," NBER Working Papers 8933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Jeffrey D. Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Process of Global Integration," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 26(1, 25th A), pages 1-118.
  12. John Whalley, 2003. "Assessing the Benefits to Developing Countries of Liberalization in Services Trade," NBER Working Papers 10181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. George Verikios & Xiao-guang Zhang, 2001. "Global Gains from Liberalising Trade in Telecommunications and Financial Services," Others 0110005, EconWPA.
  14. Arvind Panagariya, 2004. "Miracles and Debacles: In Defense of Trade Openness," International Trade 0403002, EconWPA.
  15. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "Winners and Losers Over Two Centuries of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 9161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. 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.
  17. Paul M Romer, 1999. "Increasing Returns and Long-Run Growth," Levine's Working Paper Archive 2232, David K. Levine.
  18. Marcelo Olarreaga & Çaglar Özden, 2005. "AGOA and Apparel: Who Captures the Tariff Rent in the Presence of Preferential Market Access?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 63-77, 01.
  19. Rae, Allan N. & Strutt, Anna, 2003. "The Current Round of Agricultural Trade Negotiations: Should We Bother About Domestic Support?," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 4(2).
  20. L. Alan Winters & Terrie L. Walmsley & Zhen Kun Wang & Roman Grynberg, 2003. "Liberalising Temporary Movement of Natural Persons: An Agenda for the Development Round," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(8), pages 1137-1161, 08.
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