We explore the relationship between import protection and the household distribution of income. We first develop a general-equilibrium mapping from tariffs to household inequality measures. This also yields predictions for linkages between tariffs, development level, and observed household inequality. Working with a new dataset, we then examine crosscountry variation in inequality with respect to import protection. Results are consistent with predictions of the factor-intensity model of trade. Regression results suggest that import protection makes income distribution worse for countries in labor-intensive diversification cones. This relationship shifts to one of falling inequality as incomes rise and we move to capital-intensive diversification cones.

Atkinson index, Gini coefficient, distribution of income, globalization, inequality, tariffs, trade
Personal Income, Wealth, and Their Distributions (jel D31), Commercial Policy; Protection; Promotion; Trade Negotiations; International Organizations (jel F13), Human Resources; Human Development; Income Distribution; Migration (jel O15)
Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series
Tinbergen Institute

François, J.F, & Rojas-Romagosa, H. (2004). Trade Policy and the Household Distribution of Income (No. TI 04-051/2). Tinbergen Institute Discussion Paper Series. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/1765/6646