The Challenge of Reducing International Trade and Migration Barriers

69 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Kym Anderson

Kym Anderson

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Australian National University

L. Alan Winters

University of Sussex; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 1, 2008

Abstract

While barriers to trade in most goods and some services including capital flows have been reduced considerably over the past two decades, many remain. Such policies harm most the economies imposing them, but the worst of the merchandise barriers (in agriculture and textiles) are particularly harmful to the world's poorest people, as are barriers to worker migration across borders. This paper focuses on how costly those anti-poor trade policies are, and examines possible strategies to reduce remaining distortions. Two opportunities in particular are addressed: completing the Doha Development Agenda process at the World Trade Organization (WTO), and freeing up the international movement of workers. A review of the economic benefits and adjustment costs associated with these opportunities provides the foundation to undertake benefit/cost analysis required to rank this set of opportunities against those aimed at addressing the world's other key challenges as part of the Copenhagen Consensus project. The paper concludes with key caveats and suggests that taking up these opportunities could generate huge social benefit/cost ratios that are considerably higher than the direct economic ones quantified in this study, even without factoring in their contribution to alleviating several of the other challenges identified by that project, including malnutrition, disease, poor education and air pollution.

Keywords: Economic Theory & Research, Environmental Economics & Policies, Emerging Markets, Free Trade, Trade Policy

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym and Winters, L. Alan Alan, The Challenge of Reducing International Trade and Migration Barriers (April 1, 2008). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 4598, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1149101

Kym Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) ( email )

School of Economics
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Australia
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

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Australian National University ( email )

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Australia
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HOME PAGE: http://publicpolicy.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/kanderson.php

L. Alan Alan Winters

University of Sussex ( email )

Sussex House
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Brighton, Sussex BNI 9RH
United Kingdom

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

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