IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/bpj/bjafio/v2y2004i2n5.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Genetically Modified Food Standards as Trade Barriers: Harmonization, Compromise, and Sub-Global Agreements

Author

Listed:
  • Tothova Monika

    (Michigan State University)

  • Oehmke James F.

    (Michigan State University)

Abstract

GMOs have brought new concerns into an already challenged world trading system. This paper considers the jointly enodogenous formation of GMO-related standards and sub-global trading agreements. Standards are understood as tolerance levels for GMOs. Sub-global trading agreements may be either formal agreements between countries sanctioned by the WTO, or they may be implicit agreements, e.g. a developing country accepting the U.S. standards.We develop a theoretical model of standard formation and agreement formation. In autarky, national standards reflect the preferences of domestic consumers. The possibility of gains from trade encourages countries to modify their standards to facilitate trade with other countries having similar standards. Whether or not a country engages in trade depends on the magnitude and nature of the gains from trade--e.g. economies of scale, greater variety for consumers, etc.--and the degree of standard modification required for trade. If the gains from trade are sufficient, countries will compromise or harmonize standards to achieve these gains. In the case of countries of similar size (bargaining power), compromise may be feasible. In the case of countries of different size, harmonization of the smaller country's standard to that of the larger country may be more likely. The case of the European Union's de facto prohibition on trade in GMOs is represented as a case in which the gains from trade are insufficient to catalyze a compromise position. Analogously, the North American refusal to restrict or prohibit GMOs indicates that the gains from trade with Europe are insufficient to compensate for this change in standard. In the absence of a common global standard, countries with similar preferences cluster into smaller clubs to capture at least some gains from trade.

Suggested Citation

  • Tothova Monika & Oehmke James F., 2004. "Genetically Modified Food Standards as Trade Barriers: Harmonization, Compromise, and Sub-Global Agreements," Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization, De Gruyter, vol. 2(2), pages 1-19, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:2:y:2004:i:2:n:5
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.degruyter.com/view/j/jafio.2004.2.2/jafio.2004.2.2.1062/jafio.2004.2.2.1062.xml?format=INT
    Download Restriction: For access to full text, subscription to the journal or payment for the individual article is required.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Oehmke, James F. & Maredia, Mywish K. & Weatherspoon, Dave D., 2001. "The Effects of Biotechnology Policy on Trade and Growth," Estey Centre Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Estey Centre for Law and Economics in International Trade, vol. 2(2).
    2. Jagdish Bhagwati & Arvind Panagariya & T. N. Srinivasan, 1998. "Lectures on International Trade, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262522470, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Mauro Vigani & Valentina Raimondi & Alessandro Olper, 2010. "GMO Regulations, International Trade and the Imperialism of Standards," LICOS Discussion Papers 25510, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
    2. Wilhelm Althammer & Susanne Dröge, 2006. "Ecological Labelling in North-South Trade," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 604, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    3. Vigani, Mauro & Olper, Alessandro, 2013. "GMO standards, endogenous policy and the market for information," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 32-43.

    More about this item

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bpj:bjafio:v:2:y:2004:i:2:n:5. 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: (Peter Golla). General contact details of provider: https://www.degruyter.com .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.