While trade integration has been an engine of global growth and prosperity, as suggested by theory, some sectors have been negatively affected by increased import competition. We test if this negative effect is significant in a context of high intranational migration, as theory indicates that labor mobility could reduce it. We focus on the 2004-14 period of trade liberalization in Peru (a major beneficiary of trade integration), which allows for methodological improvements relative to similar studies. We find that districts competing with liberalized imports experienced significantly lower growth in consumption per capita despite some emigration in response to increased import competition. This underscores the need to support the “losers of trade liberalization” even amidst high labor mobility.
This paper provides an assessment of the poverty and social impact of replacing Ethiopia's sales tax with a value-added tax (VAT). The results indicate that this reform has not had a major adverse effect on the poorest 40 percent of the population. The VAT is progressive in its incidence, and the higher revenues brought about by the VAT can provide additional funds for poverty-reducing spending, including primary education. At the same time, there is significant scope for making education spending more pro-poor by increasing the access of low-income households to schools.
This paper uses the 1991 Indian trade liberalization to measure the impact of trade liberalization on poverty, and to examine the mechanisms underpinning this impact. Variation in sectoral composition across districts and liberalization intensity across production sectors allows a difference-in-difference approach. Rural districts, in which production sectors more exposed to liberalization were concentrated, experienced slower decline in poverty and lower consumption growth. The impact of liberalization was most pronounced among the least geographically mobile, at the bottom of the income distribution, and in Indian states where inflexible labor laws impeded factor reallocation across sectors.