School of Economics

2009 Discussion Papers

School of Economics Discussion Paper 09/11
July 2009

Has Trade Liberalisation in Poor Countries Delivered the Promises Expected?

Penélope Pacheco-López and A.P. Thirlwall

School of Economics
University of Kent


The paper reviews the evidence of the impact of trade liberalisation on the economic performance of poor developing countries with respect to poverty reduction, the distribution of income within countries, the distribution of income between countries, trade and the balance of payments, and economic growth, and finds that liberalisation has not delivered the benefits expected. Economic theory, and the historical and contemporary evidence, all provide arguments for protection of industrial activities in developing countries.

JEL Classification: F 10; F 13; F 43; F 46.

Keywords: Trade liberalisation, trade policy, income distribution, poverty

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