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Equity, welfare, and the setting of trade policy in general equilibrium

  • Francois, Joseph
  • Rojas-Romagosa, Hugo

The authors analyzegeneral equilibrium relationships between trade policy and the household distribution of income, decomposing social welfare into real income level and variance components and emphasizing Gini and Atkinson indexes. They embed these inequality-adjusted social welfare functions in a general equilibrium structure mapping from tariff protection to household inequality. This yields predictions regarding the linkages between trade protection, country characteristics, and inequality within a broad general equilibrium framework. In addition, the authors can separate the efficiency and equity effects of tariffs on welfare. They then examine endogenous tariff formation when policymakers care about both equity and special interests.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3731.

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Date of creation: 01 Oct 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3731
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  1. Elhanan Helpman, 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," NBER Working Papers 5309, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, March.
  3. John C. Harsanyi, 1955. "Cardinal Welfare, Individualistic Ethics, and Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 63, pages 309.
  4. Spilimbergo, Antonio & Londono, Juan Luis & Szekely, Miguel, 1999. "Income distribution, factor endowments, and trade openness," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 77-101, June.
  5. Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C., 1990. "Income distribution, development and foreign trade : A cross-sectional analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 34(6), pages 1113-1132, September.
  6. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  7. John C. Harsanyi, 1953. "Cardinal Utility in Welfare Economics and in the Theory of Risk-taking," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 61, pages 434.
  8. Edwards, Sebastian, 1997. "Trade Policy, Growth, and Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 205-10, May.
  9. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  10. J. David Richardson, 1995. "Income Inequality and Trade: How to Think, What to Conclude," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 9(3), pages 33-55, Summer.
  11. Anderson, James E & Neary, J Peter, 1992. "Trade Reform with Quotas, Partial Rent Retention, and Tariffs," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(1), pages 57-76, January.
  12. Galor, Oded, 1994. "Tariffs, Income Distribution and Welfare in a Small Overlapping-Generations Economy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 35(1), pages 173-92, February.
  13. James E. Anderson, 1997. "Revenue Neutral Trade Reform with Many Households, Quotas and Tariffs," NBER Working Papers 6181, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining inequality the world round: cohort size, Kuznets curves, and openness," Staff Reports 79, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
  15. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  16. Robert Feenstra & Gordon Hanson, 2001. "Global Production Sharing and Rising Inequality: A Survey of Trade and Wages," NBER Working Papers 8372, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
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