Foreign capital inflows (FKI) help an economy by financing the imbalance between income and expenditure. However, their impact on poverty in the recipient economy is a controversial issue. In this study, we examine the impact on poverty in two different scenarios: (1) labour is homogeneous; (2) labour is heterogeneous. The Computable General Equilibrium model for Pakistan is used to conduct simulations in order to assess the impact of an increase in foreign capital on poverty both in the presence and in the absence of trade liberalisation. Several interesting results emerge from the study. First, FKI tends to reduce poverty in the presence as well as in the absence of trade liberalisation when labour is homogeneous. However, poverty reduction appears to be larger in the presence of trade liberalisation. Second, when labour is differentiated according to qualification and is assumed to be sector-specific, in the absence of trade liberalisation a higher proportion of benefits of FKI accrue to skilled labour and poverty increases by all measures for both urban and rural households. In the presence of trade liberalisation, FKI benefits unskilled labour more, and poverty is decreased irrespective of the choice of poverty indicators.
Poverty-reducing or Poverty-inducing? A CGE-based Analysis of Foreign Capital Inflows in Pakistan
PIDE Working Papers 2006:2