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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. 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.
  2. Helpman, E., 1995. "Politics and Trade Policy," Papers 30-95, Tel Aviv - the Sackler Institute of Economic Studies.
  3. Anderson, J-E, 1997. "Revenue Neutral Trade Reform With Many Households, Quotas and Tariffs," Papers 626, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  4. Barro, Robert J, 2000. " Inequality and Growth in a Panel of Countries," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 5-32, March.
  5. Matthew Higgins & Jeffrey G. Williamson, 1999. "Explaining Inequality the World Round: Cohort Size, Kuznets Curves, andOpenness," NBER Working Papers 7224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  7. Sen, Amartya K, 1976. "Real National Income," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 43(1), pages 19-39, February.
  8. 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.
  9. Bourguignon, F. & Morrisson, C., 1989. "Income Distribution, Development and Foreign Trade: A Cross-Sectional Analysis," DELTA Working Papers 89-05, DELTA (Ecole normale supérieure).
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. Mayer, Wolfgang, 1984. "Endogenous Tariff Formation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 74(5), pages 970-85, December.
  13. 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.
  14. Sen, Amartya, 1997. "On Economic Inequality," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198292975, March.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. Edwards, Sebastian, 1997. "Trade Policy, Growth, and Income Distribution," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(2), pages 205-10, May.
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