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Agricultural trade distortions during the global financial crisis

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  • Kym Anderson
  • Signe Nelgen

Abstract

Import barriers are often raised during turbulent times, as governments worry about immediate domestic concerns such as unemployment. The recent global financial crisis, however, was accompanied by an exogenous upward spike in the international price of food, which led some countries to raise export barriers, thereby exacerbating both the price spike and the international welfare transfer associated with that change in the terms of trade. As in previous price-spike periods, that response by some food-exporting countries was accompanied by a lowering of import restrictions by numerous food-importing countries, further exacerbating the international price spike. This paper provides new evidence up to 2010 on the extent of the change in domestic relative to international prices in both groups of countries, and compares it with responses during two previous food price-spike periods. It concludes that there is a need for stronger World Trade Organization disciplines on export as well as import restrictions, so as to limit the extent to which beggar-thy-neighbour government responses to international price spikes (up or down) exacerbate those shocks. Copyright 2012, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Oxford Review of Economic Policy.

Volume (Year): 28 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 (SUMMER)
Pages: 235-260

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Handle: RePEc:oup:oxford:v:28:y:2012:i:2:p:235-260

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References

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  1. Anderson, Kym & Nelgen, Signe, 2010. "Trade Barrier Volatility and Agricultural Price Stabilization," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 8102, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 675-704, October.
  3. Mundlak, Yair & Larson, Donald F, 1992. "On the Transmission of World Agricultural Prices," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 6(3), pages 399-422, September.
  4. Jean, Sebastien & Laborde, David & Martin, Will, 2010. "Formulas and flexibility in trade negotiations : sensitive agricultural products in the WTO's Doha agenda," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5200, The World Bank.
  5. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
  6. David S. Jacks, Kevin H. O'Rourke and Jeffrey G. Williamson, 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and World Market Integration since 1700," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series, IIIS iiisdp280, IIIS.
  7. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611, October.
  8. Hertel, Thomas W. & Beckman, Jayson F., 2010. "Commodity Price Volatility in the Biofuel Era: An Examination of the Linkage between Energy and Agricultural Markets," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 60857, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  9. Tyers,Rod & Anderson,Kym, 2011. "Disarray in World Food Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521172318, 9.
  10. Kym Anderson, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives : A Global Perspective, 1955-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9436, October.
  11. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H. G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597, October.
  12. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Tiwari, Sailesh & Zaman, Hassan, 2011. "Can we rely on cash transfers to protect dietary diversity during food crises ? estimates from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5548, The World Bank.
  13. Minot, Nicholas, 2011. "Transmission of world food price changes to markets in Sub-Saharan Africa:," IFPRI discussion papers 1059, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Cited by:
  1. Götz, Linde & Qiu, Feng & Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Glauben, Thomas, 2013. "Export Restrictions and Multiple Spatial Price Equilibria: Export Quotas for Wheat in Ukraine," 53rd Annual Conference, Berlin, Germany, September 25-27, 2013 156135, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA).
  2. Kym Anderson & Maros Ivanic & Will Martin, 2013. "Food Price Spikes, Price Insulation and Poverty," NBER Working Papers 19530, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Götz, Linde & Goychuk, Kateryna & Glauben, Thomas & Meyers, William H., 2013. "Export Restrictions and Market Uncertainty: Evidence from the Analysis of Price Volatility in the Ukrainian Wheat Market," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C., Agricultural and Applied Economics Association 150308, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  4. Gotz, Linde & Qiu, Feng & Gervais, Jean-Philippe & Glauben, Thomas, 2012. "Export Restrictions And Multiple Spatial Price Equilibria When International Prices Spike: Export Quotas For Wheat In Ukraine," 2012: New Rules of Trade?, December 2012, San Diego, California, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium 143179, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  5. Swinnen, Johan & Knops, Louise & Van Herck, Kristine, 2013. "Food policy volatility and EU policies," Working Paper Series, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER) UNU-WIDER Research Paper , World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  6. Jensen, Hans G & Anderson, Kym, 2014. "Grain price spikes and beggar-thy-neighbor policy responses : a global economywide analysis," Policy Research Working Paper Series 7007, The World Bank.

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