This paper concentrates on results drawn from two strands in the literature. The first focuses on trade as a growth-enhancing policy and its impact on poverty and inequalities. The second strand focuses on the impact of initial inequality on growth (through different micro channels), and on the resulting effects on poverty and inequalities. These two strands are merged and examined from two different perspectives: that of enhancing economic growth and that of reducing poverty. Analysis of the results shows that there is no general evidence in favour of the views that trade liberalization ‘is good for growth’ and that ‘growth is good for the poor’. More precisely, the theoretical debate concerning the effects of trade on growth, and the endless discussions on its empirics, is further deepened if we consider that trade may worsen within-countries inequality, and that this may be harmful for future growth. Furthermore, the response of poverty to a given growth depends both on the structure of growth and on some specific conditions of each single country (sectoral composition, wealth and land distribution, education, specialization of income sources, etc.). These conditions can explain why the same policies may have very different distributional effects. Hence, the problem of poverty reduction cannot be separated from the context in which trade is liberalized and growth achieved.

Trade, poverty and growth: two perspectives one message?

Berloffa, Gabriella;Segnana, Maria Luigia
2006

Abstract

This paper concentrates on results drawn from two strands in the literature. The first focuses on trade as a growth-enhancing policy and its impact on poverty and inequalities. The second strand focuses on the impact of initial inequality on growth (through different micro channels), and on the resulting effects on poverty and inequalities. These two strands are merged and examined from two different perspectives: that of enhancing economic growth and that of reducing poverty. Analysis of the results shows that there is no general evidence in favour of the views that trade liberalization ‘is good for growth’ and that ‘growth is good for the poor’. More precisely, the theoretical debate concerning the effects of trade on growth, and the endless discussions on its empirics, is further deepened if we consider that trade may worsen within-countries inequality, and that this may be harmful for future growth. Furthermore, the response of poverty to a given growth depends both on the structure of growth and on some specific conditions of each single country (sectoral composition, wealth and land distribution, education, specialization of income sources, etc.). These conditions can explain why the same policies may have very different distributional effects. Hence, the problem of poverty reduction cannot be separated from the context in which trade is liberalized and growth achieved.
Economic growth and distribution: on the nature and causes of the wealth of nations
Cheltenham, UK; Northampton, MA, USA
Edward Elgar Publishing
9781845423209
Berloffa, Gabriella; Segnana, Maria Luigia
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11572/65270
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