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Agricultural distortions in Sub-Saharan Africa : trade and welfare indicators, 1961 to 2004

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  • Croser, Johanna
  • Anderson, Kym

Abstract

For decades, agricultural price and trade policies in Sub-Saharan Africa have hampered farmers’ contributions to economic growth and poverty reduction. Although there has been much policy reform over the past two decades, the injections of agricultural development funding, together with ongoing regional and global trade negotiations, have brought distortionary policies under the spotlight once again. A key question asked of those policies is: How much are they still reducing national economic welfare and trade? Economy-wide models are able to address that question, but they are not available for many poor countries. Even where they are, typically they apply to just one particular previous year and so are unable to provide trends in effects over time. This paper provides a partial-equilibrium alternative to economy-wide modeling, by drawing on a modification of so-called trade restrictiveness indexes to provide theoretically precise indicators of the trade and welfare effects of agricultural policy distortions to producer and consumer prices over the past half-century. The authors generate time series of country level indexes, as well as Africa-wide aggregates. They also provide annual commodity market indexes for the region, and a sense of the relative importance of the key policy instruments used.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 5344.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2010
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5344

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Keywords: Economic Theory&Research; Markets and Market Access; Emerging Markets; Trade Policy; Free Trade;

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Cited by:
  1. World Bank, 2011. "Missing Food : The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2824, The World Bank.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Bruckner, Markus, 2012. "Distortions to Agriculture and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," 2012 Annual Meeting, August 12-14, 2012, Seattle, Washington 124908, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

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