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Economic liberalization and welfare in a model with an informal sector

Sarbajit Chaudhuri () and Ujjaini Mukhopadhyay

The Economics of Transition, 2002, vol. 10, issue 1, 143-172

Abstract: The paper reexamines the conventional results relating to inflow of foreign capital, removal of protectionism and structural reform programmes, in a small open economy in terms of a two‐sector general equilibrium model with an informal sector. The paper shows that in the presence of labour market distortion and a protectionist policy, inflow of foreign capital may be desirable irrespective of the pattern of trade of the economy due to its favourable impact on welfare. But the welfare implications of tariff reductions and/or structural adjustment programmes, such as deregulating the formal sector labour market, depend crucially on the economy's trade pattern. The paper provides an answer to the question as to whether in a developing economy labour market reform and tariff reform should go hand‐in‐hand or whether one should precede the other for welfare improvement. JEL classification: F10, F13, F21, O17.

Date: 2002
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