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Do inward looking trade policies affect poverty and income inequality? Evidence from Indonesia's recent wave of rising protectionism

Renuka Mahadevan (), Anda Nugroho and Hidayat Amir ()

Economic Modelling, 2017, vol. 62, issue C, 23-34

Abstract: Unlike previous studies which often focus on trade liberalisation, this paper examines the impact of protectionism in the form of import tariffs and mineral export taxes on rural and urban poverty and income inequality for the first time. Using a dynamic computable general equilibrium model on Indonesia, mineral export taxes were found to adversely affect urban and rural poverty but income inequality hardly changed as the decline in income in the higher income group is not significantly different to the decline in low income groups. However, if smelters for mineral ore are developed, then there is not only a fall in poverty, more so for the rural than urban, but there is some decline in income inequality. On the other hand, although the current imposed import tariffs do not affect poverty or income inequality, any further increases from the current low average MFN applied rates, will see a rise in rural and urban poverty and income inequality. By and large, any small improvements in the trade balance brought upon by the mineral tax and import tariffs are more than outweighed by the substantial decline in real household consumption expenditure due to falls in employment and wages, thereby leading to a fall in GDP growth.

Keywords: Mineral export taxes; Import tariffs; Poverty; Income inequality; Dynamic computable general equilibrium model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: F14 I32 C68 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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