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Agricultural Trade Reform and Poverty in the Asia-Pacific: A Survey and Some New Results

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  • John Gilbert

Abstract

We review the literature on the relationship between agricultural trade policy reform and poverty, and the results of recent detailed simulation studies applied to economies in the ESCAP region. We then use the GTAP model to evaluate the possible impacts of the most recently proposed modality for agricultural trade reform under Doha on the economies of the ESCAP region. We compare the results to a benchmark of comprehensive agricultural trade reform. We find that the current proposal does not result in significant cuts to applied tariffs, and has very modest overall effects on welfare. Poverty in the region would decrease overall, but the distribution across countries is uneven. By contrast, comprehensive agricultural trade reform, with developing economies fully engaged, tends to benefit most economies in the region in the aggregate, and to consistently lower poverty.

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Paper provided by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its series MPDD Working Paper Series with number WP/08/01.

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Handle: RePEc:unt:wpmpdd:wp/08/01

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Keywords: Agricultural trade; Doha; Asia-Pacific; Poverty;

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  1. Thomas Hertel & David Hummels & Maros Ivanic & Roman Keeney, 2004. "How Confident Can We Be in CGE-Based Assessments of Free Trade Agreements?," NBER Working Papers 10477, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  3. Robinson, Sherman & Thierfelder, Karen, 1999. "Trade liberalization and regional integration: the search for large numbers," TMD discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 34, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Thomas Hertel & Jeffrey Reimer, 2005. "Predicting the poverty impacts of trade reform," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-405.
  5. Sandra Polaski et al, 2008. "Policy dilemmas in India: The Impact of changes in agricultural prices on rural and urban poverty," Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai Working Papers 2008-012, Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research, Mumbai, India.
  6. Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg & Nina Pavcnik, 2007. "Distributional Effects of Globalization in Developing Countries," NBER Working Papers 12885, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Peter J. Lloyd & Donald Maclaren, 2004. "Gains and Losses from Regional Trading Agreements: A Survey," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(251), pages 445-467, December.
  8. John Gilbert, 2009. "Agricultural Trade Reform Under Doha and Poverty in India," Working Papers, Utah State University, Department of Economics 2009-03, Utah State University, Department of Economics, revised 28 Jun 2009.
  9. Robert Scollay & John Gilbert, 2000. "Measuring the Gains from APEC Trade Liberalisation: An Overview of CGE Assessments," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 175-197, 02.
  10. Linh, Pham Thi Ngoc & Burton, Michael P. & Vanzetti, David, 2008. "The welfare of small livestock producers in Vietnam under trade liberalisation-- Integration of trade and household models," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society 6023, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  11. Jean, Sebastien & Laborde, David & Martin, William J., 2005. "Sensitive Products: Selection and Implications for Agricultural Trade Negotiations," Working Papers, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements 18860, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
  12. L. Alan Winters & Neil McCulloch & Andrew McKay, 2004. "Trade Liberalization and Poverty: The Evidence So Far," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 42(1), pages 72-115, March.
  13. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
  14. L. Alan Winters, 2002. "Trade Liberalisation and Poverty: What are the Links?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1339-1367, 09.
  15. Annabi, Nabil & Khondker, Bazlul & Raihan, Selim & Cockburn, John & Decaluwe, Bernard, 2006. "Implications of WTO agreements and unilateral trade policy reforms for poverty in Bangladesh : short versus long-run impacts," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3976, The World Bank.
  16. Kuiper, Marijke & van Tongeren, Frank, 2005. "Growing together or growing apart ? a village level study of the impact of the Doha Round on rural China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3696, The World Bank.
  17. Thomas W. Hertel & L. Alan Winters, 2005. "Estimating the Poverty Impacts of a Prospective Doha Development Agenda," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(8), pages 1057-1071, 08.
  18. John Gilbert & Thomas Wahl, 2002. "Applied General Equilibrium Assessments of Trade Libereralisation in China," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 697-731, 05.
  19. Cororaton, Caesar B. & Cockburn, John & Corong, Erwin, 2005. "Doha scenarios, trade reforms, and poverty in the Philippines," MTID discussion papers, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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Cited by:
  1. John Gilbert, 2011. "Trade reforms under Doha and income distribution in South Asia," STUDIES IN TRADE AND INVESTMENT, United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), in: Trade-led growth: A sound strategy for Asia, chapter 12 United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
  2. John Gilbert, 2009. "Agricultural Trade Reform Under Doha and Poverty in India," Working Papers 200903, Utah State University, Department of Economics and Finance, revised 28 Jun 2009.
  3. Acharya, Sanjaya & Hölscher, Jens & Perugini, Cristiano, 2012. "Trade liberalisation and inequalities in Nepal: A CGE analysis," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 2543-2557.
  4. John Gilbert, 2008. "BIMSTEC-Japan Trade Cooperation and Poverty in Asia," Working Papers, Utah State University, Department of Economics 2008-03, Utah State University, Department of Economics, revised 19 Dec 2008.

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