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Growing together or growing apart ? a village level study of the impact of the Doha Round on rural China

  • Kuiper, Marijke
  • van Tongeren, Frank

Most studies of the opening of the Chinese economy focus at the national level. The few existing disaggregated analyses are limited to analyzing changes in agricultural production. The authors use an innovative village equilibrium model that accounts for nonseparability of household production and consumption decisions. This allows them to analyze the impact of trade liberalization on household production, consumption, and off-farm employment, as well as the interactions among these three aspects of household decisions. They use the village model to analyze the impact of price changes and labor demand, the two major pathways through which international trade affects households. Analyzing the impact of trade liberalization for one village in the Jiangxi province of China, the authors find changes in relative prices and outside village employment to have opposite impacts on household decisions. At the household level the impact of price changes dominates the employment impacts. Comparing full trade liberalization and the more limited Doha scenario, reactions are more modest in the latter case for most households, but the response is nonlinear to increasing depth of trade reforms. This is explained by household-specific transaction (shadow) prices in combination with endogenous choices to participate in the output markets. Rising income inequalities are a growing concern in China. Whether trade liberalization allows incomes to grow together or to grow apart depends on whether one accounts for the reduction in consumption demand when household members migrate. Assessing the net effect on the within-village income distribution, the authors find that poorer households that own draught power gain most from trade liberalization. The households that have to rely on the use of own labor for farm activities and are not endowed with traction power, nor with a link to employment opportunities in the prospering coastal regions, have fewer opportunities for adjustment.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3696.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3696
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  1. Gilbert, John & Wahl, Thomas, 2003. "Labor market distortions and China's WTO accession package:: an applied general equilibrium assessment," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 774-794, December.
  2. Fangbin Qiao & Bryan Lohmar & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle & Linxiu Zhang, 2003. "Producer Benefits from Input Market and Trade Liberalization: The Case of Fertilizer in China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1223-1227.
  3. Kuiper, Marijke H., 2005. "Village Modeling: A Chinese Recipe For Blending General Equilibrium And Household Modeling," Report Series 29133, Agricultural Economics Research Institute.
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  13. Jikun Huang & Ninghui Li & Scott Rozelle, 2003. "Trade Reform, Household Effects, and Poverty in Rural China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1292-1298.
  14. Zeller, Manfred & Sharma, Manohar & Ahmed, Akhter U. & Rashid, Shahidur, 2001. "Group-based financial institutions for the rural poor in Bangladesh: an institutional- and household-level analysis," Research reports 120, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  15. Denise Hare, 1999. "'Push' versus 'pull' factors in migration outflows and returns: Determinants of migration status and spell duration among China's rural population," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 35(3), pages 45-72.
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