Poverty impacts of increased openness and fiscal policies in a dollarized economy: a CGE-micro approach for Ecuador
We quantify the effects on poverty and income distribution in Ecuador of bilateral trade liberalization with the US and a budget-neutral value added tax increase which seeks to compensate tariff revenue losses. We stress the study of fiscal policies that the government could tap in order to compensate for tariff revenue loss. This is a very important issue for Ecuador because this country adopted the US dollar as its currency in 2000, forgiving the use of important policy instruments. To study these issues we combine a reduced-form micro household income and occupational choice model (using 2005/6 data from the Ecuadorian LSMS) with a standard single-country computable general equilibrium model (employing a 2004 SAM). We follow a sequential approach that simulates the full distributional impact of trade and tax policies. We find that the impact of these policy changes on extreme poverty and income distribution is small but positive.