Dani Rodrik’s Primer on Trade and Inequality

Excerpts from Professor Dani Rodrik’s working paper, A Primer on Trade and Inequality (2021), for the National Bureau of Economic Research:

“In the public imagination globalization’s adverse effects have loomed large, contributing significantly to the backlash against the political mainstream and the rise of far-right populism. The literature on trade and inequality is in fact exceptionally rich, with important theoretical insights as well as extensive empirical findings that sheds light on this recent experience. Some of the key results of this literature, discussed here, are as follows: Redistribution is the flip side of the gains from trade, and it becomes larger relative to net gains from trade in the advanced stages of globalization. Compensation is difficult for both economic and political reasons. International trade often differs from other market exchanges, raising fairness concerns in ways that domestic markets do not. The economic benefits of deep integration are generally ambiguous. Dynamic or growth gains from trade are uncertain.”

Moreover, on the role of financial globalization and capital mobility the paper takes the following stand. “Researchers at the IMF have found that greater capital mobility produces strong inequality effects (Jaumotte et al., 2013; Furceri and Loungani, 2015; Furceri et al., 2017). In particular, they find that capital-account liberalization leads to statistically significant and long-lasting declines in the labor share of income and corresponding increases in the Gini coefficient of income inequality and in the shares of top 1, 5, and 10 percent of income.”

Click here to read the full paper.

Posted by at 9:19 AM

Labels: Inclusive Growth


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