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Abstract

In this paper, the welfare results in trade liberalisation scenarios in global CGE models (like GTAP) are analysed. The default modeling strategy in trade is the Armington assumption with bilateral trade flows in industries. The negative terms of trade effects that often dominate the negative welfare outcome in simulation experiments are decomposed to imports and exports price effects. The numerical examples show that even in unilateral liberalisation with decreasing import tariffs, the welfare effects are dominated by domestic price level changes that also drive the exports prices. The numerical examples are built around simple GTAP tariff cut experiments with 3x3 country and commodity aggregation. The inherent feature in this type of models is that they support arguments for unilateral market access, like preferences, at the expense of multilateral trade liberalisation.

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