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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. 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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  7. Jeffrey Sachs & Andrew Warner, 1995. "Economic Reform and the Progress of Global Integration," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1733, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
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  9. Wacziarg, Romain & Welch, Karen Horn, 2003. "Trade Liberalization and Growth: New Evidence," Research Papers 1826, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  10. John Whalley, 2004. "Assessing the Benefits to Developing Countries of Liberalisation in Services Trade," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(8), pages 1223-1253, 08.
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  14. Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2002. "Winners and Losers Over Two Centuries of Globalization," NBER Working Papers 9161, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. 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).
  17. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-37, October.
  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. George Verikios & Xiao-guang Zhang, 2001. "Global Gains from Liberalising Trade in Telecommunications and Financial Services," Others 0110005, EconWPA.
  20. Pomfret, Richard, 2001. "The Economics of Regional Trading Arrangements," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199248872, March.
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