Economic reform, allocative effiency and terms of trade

Zalai, Ernő (1984) Economic reform, allocative effiency and terms of trade. Acta Oeconomica, 33 (3-4). pp. 255-271.

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It has widely been agreed that the distorted price system is one of the causes of inefficient ecooomic decisions in centrally planned economies. The paper investigates the possible effect of a price reform on the allocation of resources in a situation where micro-efficiency remains unchanged. Foreign trade and endogenously induced terms-of-trade changes are focal points ín the multisectoral applied general equilibrium analysis. Special attention is paid to some methodological problems connected to the representation of foreign trade in such models. The adoption of Armington's assumption leads to an export demand function and this in turn gives rise to the question of optimal export structure, different from the equilibrium one-an aspect so far neglected in the related literature. The results show, that the applied model allows for a more flexible handling of the overspecialization problem, than the linear programming models. It also becomes evident that the use of export demand functions brings unwanted terms-of-trade changes into the model, to be avoided by a suitable reformulation of the model. The analysis also suggests, that a price reform alone does not significantly increase global economic efficiency. Thus the effect of an economic reform on micro-efficiency appears to be a more crucial factor. The author raises in conclusion some rather general questions related to the foreign trade practice of small open economies.

Item Type:Article
ID Code:2150
Deposited By: Ádám Hoffmann
Deposited On:23 Nov 2015 10:42
Last Modified:23 Nov 2015 10:42

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