Trade and exchange rate policy options for the CFA countries : simulations with a CGE model for Cameroon
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This paper uses a computable general equilibrium model consistent with stylized facts about Cameroon to assess the impact of the 1994 regional fiscal reform. Two main elements characterize this model: it accounts for the asymmetric impact with trading partners and the dualism on product and factor markets through due consideration of both formal and informal sector's activities. Price formation in the model is standard, except that import prices are adjusted to take into account tax evasion and smuggling. Our analysis focuses on the macroeconomic impact and the welfare implications of the simulations. Overall, the various simulations lead to higher economic growth and expansion in employment. However, depending on the combination of taxes used, the sectoral effects are different. As a member of the CFA zone Cameroon can achieve a real depreciation on an individual basis through stringent fiscal and monetary policies or through a uniform tariff-cum-subsidy (UTCS) scheme, which is obtained via subsidies to selected export crops and high import tariffs. The simulation of this policy scenario leads to an increase in GDP at factor cost, while employment increases at a higher rate than in other scenarios; hence the unemployment rate falls and households' welfare increases. All households are better off in this simulation, although in the formal household category, welfare increased by a lesser amount.