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The distributive impact of terms of trade shocks: The case of the oil price changes in Russia

Maurizio Bussolo () and Patrizia Luongo

Economics of Transition and Institutional Change, 2020, vol. 28, issue 3, 487-513

Abstract: The halving of oil prices, during a short period between 2014 and 2015, has generated major terms of trade losses for oil exporting countries. This terms of trade shock has economy‐wide effects and significant distributive impacts. This paper, using a macro‐micro simulation model, describes and quantifies the channels of transmission from the drop of oil prices, to changes in welfare distribution at the household level for the case of the Russian Federation. The oil price reduction generates a reverse Dutch disease impacting sectoral employment, factor returns and consumption prices. It causes a contraction of employment and wages in more skill‐intensive (non‐tradable) sectors, and a reduction in consumption prices that is more pronounced for non‐food than for food goods. When these shifts are mapped to changes in incomes at the micro level, all households are affected. Poverty rates increase by 1 to 4 percentage points, depending on the poverty line used. At the US$ 10 a day threshold, 4.1 million additional people fall into poverty. Along the consumption distribution, richer people are affected more than those in the bottom 40%. However, this minor progressive impact may be reversed due to increases in unemployment and cuts in social programmes.

Date: 2020
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https://doi.org/10.1111/ecot.12247

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