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Agricultural Distortion Patterns Since the 1950s: What Needs Explaining?

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Author Info

  • Kym Anderson

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Johanna Croser

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Damiano Sandri

    ()
    (International Monetary Fund)

  • Ernesto Valenzuela

    ()
    (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

Abstract

This paper summarizes a new database that sheds light on the impact of trade-related policy developments over the past half century on distortions to agricultural incentives and thus also to consumer prices for food in 75 countries spanning the per capita income spectrum. Price-support policies of advanced economies hurt not only domestic consumers and exporters of other products but also foreign producers and traders of farm products, and they reduce national and global economic welfare. On the other hand, the governments of many developing countries have directly taxed their farmers over the past half-century, both directly (e.g., export taxes) and also indirectly via overvaluing their currency and restricting imports of manufactures. Thus the price incentives facing farmers in many developing countries have been depressed by both own-country and other countriesÂ’ agricultural price and international trade policies. We summarize these and realted stylized facts that can be drawn from a new World Bank database that is worthy of the attention of political economy theorists, historians and econometricians. These indicators can be helpful in addressing such questions as the following: Where is there still a policy bias against agricultural production? To what extent has there been overshooting in the sense that some developing-country food producers are now being protected from import competition along the lines of the examples of earlier-industrializing Europe and Japan? What are the political economy forces behind the more-successful reformers, and how do they compare with those in less-successful countries where major distortions in agricultural incentives remain? And what explains the pattern of distortions across not only countries but also industries and in the choice of support or tax instruments within the agricultural sector of each country?

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File URL: http://www.adelaide.edu.au/cies/publications/present/CIES_DP1013.pdf
File Function: First version, 2010
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies in its series Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers with number 2010-13.

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Length: 59 pages
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:adl:cieswp:2010-13

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Keywords: Political economy; agricultural price and trade policies;

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References

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  1. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," CEPR Discussion Papers 5569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Lloyd, Peter J & Maclaren, Donald, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Australia Since World War II," CEPR Discussion Papers 6436, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
  4. Orden, David & Cheng, Fuzhi & Nguyen, Hoa & Grote, Ulrike & Thomas, Marcelle & Mullen, Kathleen & Sun, Dongsheng, 2007. "Agricultural producer support estimates for developing countries: Measurement issues and evidence from India, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam," Research reports 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Tyers,Rod & Anderson,Kym, 2011. "Disarray in World Food Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521172318, October.
  6. Lloyd, Peter J. & Croser, Johanna L. & Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48049, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  7. Pardey, Philip G. & James, Jennifer S. & Alston, Julian M. & Wood, Stanley & Koo, Bonwoo & Binenbaum, Eran & Hurley, Terrance M. & Glewwe, Paul & Mayer, Jorge & Jones, Richard & De Groote, Hugo & Kana, 2007. "Science, Technology and Skills," Reports 136256, University of Minnesota, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy.
  8. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J. & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2007. "Long Run Implications of WTO Accession for Agriculture in China," China's Agricultural Trade: Issues and Prospects Symposium, July 2007, Beijing, China 55025, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  9. Valenzuela, Ernesto & Wong, Sara & Sandri, Damiano, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Ecuador," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48394, World Bank.
  10. Hayami, Yujiro, 2005. "An Emerging Agricultural Problem in High-Performing Asian Economies," Miscellaneous Papers 11826, Agecon Search.
  11. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4612, The World Bank.
  12. Krueger, Anne O & Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1988. "Agricultural Incentives in Developing Countries: Measuring the Effect of Sectoral and Economywide Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 255-71, September.
  13. Keijiro Otsuka & Takashi Yamano, 2006. "Introduction to the special issue on the role of nonfarm income in poverty reduction: evidence from Asia and East Africa," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(s3), pages 393-397, November.
  14. D. Gale Johnson, 1987. "World Agriculture In Disarray Revisited," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 31(2), pages 142-153, 08.
  15. Anderson, Kym & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe’s Transition Economies," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48556, World Bank.
  16. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48557, World Bank.
  17. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200, December.
  18. Anderson, Kym, 1995. "Lobbying Incentives and the Pattern of Protection in Rich and Poor Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 401-23, January.
  19. Kym Anderson, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives : A Global Perspective, 1955-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9436, October.
  20. De Gorter, Harry & Swinnen, Johan, 2002. "Political economy of agricultural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 36, pages 1893-1943 Elsevier.
  21. Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto & Anderson, Kym, 2007. "Economic And Trade Indicators For Asia, 1960 To 2004," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48435, World Bank.
  22. Dervis, Kemal & de Melo, Jaime & Robinson, Sherman, 1981. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Foreign Exchange Shortages in a Developing Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 891-906, December.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Gawande, Kishore & Hoekman, Bernard, 2009. "Why Governments Tax or Subsidize Trade: Evidence from Agriculture," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50300, World Bank.
  2. Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Krueger/Schiff/Valdés Revisited: Agricultural Price and Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries since 1960," CEPR Discussion Papers 7601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Jan Fałkowski & Alessandro Olper, 2012. "Political Competition and Policy Choices: The Evidence From Agricultural Protection," Working Papers 2012-18, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
  4. Christophe Gouel, 2013. "Food Price Volatility and Domestic Stabilization Policies in Developing Countries," NBER Chapters, in: The Economics of Food Price Volatility National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2011. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Political Economy of Distortions to Agricultural Incentives: Introduction and Summary," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50306, World Bank.
  7. Shifa, Abdulaziz B., 2011. "Poor rural land property rights as a manifestation of urban bias," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116002, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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