IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Why Is Agricultural Trade Policy Always So Difficult To Reform?

Listed author(s):
  • Jonathan Brooks
Registered author(s):

    Multilateral trade negotiations have once again foundered, at least in part, over agriculture. In previous rounds, discussions stalled because of the reluctance of some OECD countries to reform their agricultural policies and dismantle protection; this time an impasse was reached over the extent to which developing countries should be expected to do the same. Historically OECD countries have tended to protect their agricultural sectors, whereas developing countries have tended to tax them. The main reasons for this are political. Consumers in high-income countries spend a smaller share of their budgets on food and are less concerned about the implications of elevated prices. At the same time, farmers account for a much lower share of the workforce, which means that a given transfer to producers imposes a smaller burden on the overall economy. As developing countries have become richer and as labour has started to leave the farm sector, the political calculus has changed, and they too are starting to protect their farmers. Yet there is a lack of consensus on when poorer countries may have a legitimate need to protect their farmers. Clarifying the economic circumstances under which tariff protection may be appropriate is a pre-requisite for progress in multilateral trade negotiations. Copyright (c) 2009 The Author. Journal compilation (c) The Agricultural Economics Society and the European Association of Agricultural Economists 2009.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    File Function: link to full text
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by The Agricultural Economics Society in its journal EuroChoices.

    Volume (Year): 8 (2009)
    Issue (Month): SpecialIssueChina (08)
    Pages: 38-43

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:8:y:2009:i:specialissuechina:p:38-43
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:eurcho:v:8:y:2009:i:specialissuechina:p:38-43. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

    or (Christopher F. Baum)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.