Poor Numbers: The Impact of Trade Liberalization on World Poverty

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November 2004, Mark Weisbrot, David Rosnick and Dean Baker

Many economists and policy analysts have promoted trade liberalization in rich countries as the most effective way to reduce poverty in the developing world. Cline (2004), one of the leading references on this topic, projected that rich country trade liberalization would lift 540 million people out of poverty. This paper analyses Cline’s projections and finds that the impact of trade liberalization on poverty would be very small.

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