Agriculture and the World Trade Organization: Does Membership Make a Difference?
AbstractRecent empirical studies have estimated the trade flow effect of membership in the World Trade Organization (WTO) and its predecessor, the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). One important, although largely untested, conclusion from this literature is that the GATT/WTO has worked well if we ignore trade in agriculture – one of the institution’s seemingly apparent failures. This article investigates this conclusion using a large panel of agricultural and non-agricultural trade flows, the latter of which serves as our benchmark. The results are impressive: the multilateral institution has delivered significant positive effects on members’ agricultural trade relative to trade between non-members. Further, despite their special and differential treatment, membership has provided important trade flow benefits for developing and least-developed country agricultural exports. These findings are robust across a large number of specifications and slices of the data. Although there are few sectors as politically sensitive, participation in the GATT/WTO appears to be a significant determinant of agricultural trade flows.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Canadian Agricultural Trade Policy Research Network in its series Working Papers with number 90886.
Date of creation: May 2010
Date of revision:
WTO; membership; trade; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Development; International Relations/Trade; Political Economy;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-AGR-2010-06-18 (Agricultural Economics)
- NEP-ALL-2010-06-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-INT-2010-06-18 (International Trade)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio & Robinson, Sherman & Thomas, Marcelle & Yanoma, Yukitsugu, 2001. "WTO, agriculture, and developing countries," TMD discussion papers 81, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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