The Effects of the Colombian Trade Liberalization on Urban Poverty

Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg and Nina Pavcnik

in Globalization and Poverty

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2007 | ISBN: 9780226317946
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226318004 | DOI:
The Effects of the Colombian Trade Liberalization on Urban Poverty

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This chapter examines the impact of a large reduction in average tariffs in Colombia between 1984 and 1998 on a variety of urban labor market outcomes: the probability of becoming unemployed, minimum wage compliance, informal-sector employment, and the incidence of poverty. The Colombian trade reforms indicate that the cross-sectional variation in tariff changes provides an appealing policy experiment to study how trade policy changes have affected the Colombian economy. Poverty in urban Colombia is highly correlated with unemployment. The chapter shows that the trade policy affected the probability of becoming unemployed. The poverty reduction observed between 1986 and 1994 cannot be attributed to trade-policy-induced changes in informality or to minimum wage compliance. Thus, the descriptive results establish that poverty in urban areas is highly linked with unemployment, employment in the informal sector, and noncompliance with minimum wages.

Keywords: tariffs; Colombia; urban labor market; minimum wage compliance; poverty; Colombian trade reforms; Colombian economy; unemployment; informal-sector employment

Chapter.  20476 words. 

Subjects: Economic Development and Growth

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