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Distributional effects of adjustment policies : simulations for two archetypes economies


  • Bourguignon, Francois
  • de Melo, Jaime
  • Akiko Suwa


The 1980s was a period of external shocks for developing countries, and domestic macroeconomic imbalance and structural inefficiencies compounded the effects. But the performance of developing countries was not uniform. The authors devised a model for simulating the effects of terms of trade and interest rate shocks on two archetype economies, one representing an average Latin American economy, and the other an average African economy. The study examined the effects of the shocks and of different adjustment policies. Identical shocks and adjustment packages yield different outcomes for growth, poverty, and income distribution in the two economies. The simulations suggest three important conclusions : i) with the standard adjustment package, inequality increased significantly for the Latin American archetype but decreased significantly for the African archetype; ii) adjustment can lead to a sharp redistribution of income from groups with low marginal propensities to save towards groups with a high marginal propensity to save; and iii) trade and tax reforms that improve allocative efficiency by equalizing incentives across sectors can reduce inequality significantly, provided that governments are able to implement these revenue-neutral measures.

Suggested Citation

  • Bourguignon, Francois & de Melo, Jaime & Akiko Suwa, 1991. "Distributional effects of adjustment policies : simulations for two archetypes economies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 674, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:674

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brecher, Richard A. & Diaz Alejandro, Carlos F., 1977. "Tariffs, foreign capital and immiserizing growth," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 7(4), pages 317-322, November.
    2. Tobin, James, 1969. "A General Equilibrium Approach to Monetary Theory," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 1(1), pages 15-29, February.
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    Cited by:

    1. Haider A. Khan, 2007. "Social Accounting Matrix: A Very Short Introduction for Economic Modeling," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-477, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    2. Breisinger, Clemens & Ecker, Olivier, 2014. "Simulating economic growth effects on food and nutrition security in Yemen: A new macro–micro modeling approach," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 100-113.
    3. Haider A. Khan, 2007. "Social Accounting Matrices(SAMs) and CGE Modeling:Using Macroeconomic Computable General Equilibrium Models for Assessing Poverty Impact of Structural Adjustment Policies," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-463, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    4. Haider A. Khan, 2007. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty Reduction in General Equilibrium: The Role of Labor Market Structure," CIRJE F-Series CIRJE-F-462, CIRJE, Faculty of Economics, University of Tokyo.
    5. Zafar Iqbal & Rizwana Siddiqui, 2001. "Critical Review of Literature on Computable General Equilibrium Models," MIMAP Technical Paper Series 2001:09, Pakistan Institute of Development Economics.
    6. Alain Zantman, 1995. "Modèles d'équilibre général calculable et répartition des revenus dans les PED : quelques éléments d'évaluation," Revue Tiers Monde, Programme National Persée, vol. 36(142), pages 411-442.
    7. Thomas W. Hertel & Jeffrey J. Reimer, 2006. "Predicting the Poverty Impacts of Trade Reform," QA - Rivista dell'Associazione Rossi-Doria, Associazione Rossi Doria, issue 2, May.


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