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Distributional effects of WTO agricultural reforms in rich and poor countries

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  • Hertel, Thomas W.
  • Keeney, Roman
  • Ivanic, Maros
  • Winters, L. Alan

Abstract

Rich countries'agricultural trade policies are the battleground on which the future of the WTO's troubled Doha Round will be determined. Subject to widespread criticism, they nonetheless appear to be almost immune to serious reform, and one of their most common defenses is that they protect poor farmers. The authors'findings reject this claim. The analysis uses detailed data on farm incomes to show that major commodity programs are highly regressive in the United States, and that theonly serious losses under trade reform are among large, wealthy farmers in a few heavily protected subsectors. In contrast, analysis using household data from 15 developing countries indicates that reforming rich countries'agricultural trade policies would lift large numbers of developing country farm households out of poverty. In the majority of cases these gains are not outweighed by the poverty-increasing effects of higher food prices among other households. Agricultural reforms that appear feasible, even under an ambitious Doha Round, achieve only a fraction of the benefits for developing countries that full liberalization promises, but protect U.S. large farms from most of the rigors of adjustment. Finally, the analysis indicates that maximal trade-led poverty reductions occur when developing countries participate more fully in agricultural trade liberalization.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4060.

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Date of creation: 01 Nov 2006
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4060

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Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction; Economic Theory&Research; Population Policies; Achieving Shared Growth;

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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Todd Kuethe & Mitch Morehart, 2012. "The Agricultural Resource Management Survey: An information system for production agriculture," Agricultural Finance Review, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 72(2), pages 191-200, July.
  2. Francis Ng & M.Ataman Aksoy, 2013. "Who Are the Net Food Importing Countries?," Working Papers 2013/1, Turkish Economic Association.
  3. Hess, Sebastian & Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan von & Sperlich, Stefan, 2010. "Numbers for Pascal: explaining differences in the estimated benefits of the Doha Development Agenda," DARE Discussion Papers 1001, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
  4. Hess, Sebastian & von Cramon-Taubadel, Stephan, 2007. "Assessing general and partial equilibrium simulations of Doha round outcomes using meta-analysis," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 67, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.
  5. World Bank, 2009. "Strengthening Bolivian Competitiveness : Export Diversification and Inclusive Growth," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2656, October.
  6. Diao, Xinshen & Fan, Shenggen & Headey, Derek & Johnson, Michael & Nin Pratt, Alejandro & Yu, Bingxin, 2008. "Accelerating Africa's food production in response to rising food prices: Impacts and requisite actions," IFPRI discussion papers 825, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  7. Ng, Francis & Aksoy, M. Ataman, 2008. "Who are the net food importing countries ?," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4457, The World Bank.
  8. Hertel, Thomas W. & Keeney, Roman, 2009. "The Poverty Impacts of Global Commodity Trade Liberalization," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 52786, World Bank.
  9. Francesco Caracciolo & Fabio Santeramo, 2013. "Price Trends and Income Inequalities: Will Sub-Saharan Africa Reduce the Gap?," African Development Review, African Development Bank, vol. 25(1), pages 42-54.
  10. Jayne, T.S. & Mather, David & Mghenyi, Elliot, 2010. "Principal Challenges Confronting Smallholder Agriculture in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 38(10), pages 1384-1398, October.
  11. Douillet, Mathilde, 2012. "Trade policy reforms in the new agricultural context: Is regional integration a priority for Sub-Saharan African countries agricultural-led industrialization? Insights from a global computable general," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126546, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
  12. Verma, Monika & Hertel, Thomas W., 2009. "Commodity Price Volatility and Nutrition Vulnerability," 2009 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, 2009, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 49344, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  13. Hertel, Thomas, 2013. "Global Applied General Equilibrium Analysis Using the Global Trade Analysis Project Framework," Handbook of Computable General Equilibrium Modeling, Elsevier.
  14. Balagtas, Joseph Valdes & Bhandari, Humnath & Mohanty, Samarendu & Cabrera, Ellanie & Hossain, Mahabub, 2012. "Impact of a Commodity Price Spike on Poverty Dynamics: Evidence from a Panel of Rural Households in Bangladesh," 2012 Conference (56th), February 7-10, 2012, Freemantle, Australia 124225, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  15. Keeney, Roman & Beckman, Jayson F., 2007. "WTO Impacts on US Rice Producing Households," 2007 Annual Meeting, February 4-7, 2007, Mobile, Alabama 34812, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  16. Douillet, Mathilde, 2012. "Trade policies and agricultural exports of Sub-Saharan African countries: Some stylized facts and perspectives," MPRA Paper 40962, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  17. Keeney, Roman & Beckman, Jayson, 2009. "WTO negotiations on agriculture and the distributional impacts for US rice farm households," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(1), pages 70-80, February.

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