Effects of Reducing Tariffs in The Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC): A CGE Analysis

Working paper 467
Jean Luc Erero, Daniel Djauhari Pambudi & Lumengo Bonga-Bonga
Publication date: 
October, 2014

In this paper, the effects of reducing tariffs are analysed through a Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) model of the DRC. The specific DRC Formal-Informal Model (DRCFIM) is a multi-sectoral computable general equilibrium model that captures the observed structure of the DRC’s formal and informal economies, as well as the numerous linkages or transmission channels connecting their various economic agents, such as investors, firms, traders, and the government. The parameters of the CGE equations are calibrated to observed data from a social accounting matrix (SAM). In particular, this study draws the attention of policy makers to a different employment outcome when tariff reduction is taken into consideration. Tariff reduction increases formal employment and output but hurts informal producers. It considerably increases the output and employment of the formal sector by raising import competition without providing further opportunities for the informal sector to access foreign export markets. Nonetheless, it induces productivity improvements when local producers survive import competition by seeking importing input-saving technologies and production practices. These findings highlight the importance of differentiating between the formal and informal sector impacts of the DRC’s socioeconomic policies.

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