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Global income distribution and poverty in the absence of agricultural distortions

Maurizio Bussolo (), Rafael De Hoyos () and Denis Medvedev

No 4849, Policy Research Working Paper Series from The World Bank

Abstract: This paper assesses the potential impacts of the removal of agriculture trade distortions using a newly developed dataset and methodological approach for evaluating the global poverty and inequality effects of policy reforms. It finds that liberalization of agriculture and food could increase global extreme poverty (US$1 a day) by 0.2 percent and lower moderate poverty (US$2 a day) by 0.3 percent. Beneath these small aggregate changes, most countries witness a substantial reduction in poverty while South Asia-where half of the world's poor reside-experiences an increase in extreme poverty incidence due to high rates of protection afforded to unskilled-intensive agricultural sectors. The distributional changes are likely to be mild, but exhibit a strong regional pattern. Inequality is likely to fall in regions such as Latin America, which are characterized by high initial inequality, and rise in regions like South Asia, characterized by low initial inequality.

Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Rural Poverty Reduction; Population Policies; Inequality; Achieving Shared Growth (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2009-03-01
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr and nep-dev
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