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Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China

In: China's Growing Role in World Trade

  • Jikun Huang
  • Yu Liu
  • Will Martin
  • Scott Rozelle

Tariffs on agricultural products fell sharply in China both prior to, and as a consequence of, China's accession to the WTO. The paper examines the nature of agricultural trade reform in China since 1981, and finds that protection was quite strongly negative for most commodities, and particularly for exported goods, at the beginning of the reforms. Since then, the taxation of agriculture has declined sharply, with the abolition of production quotas and procurement pricing, and reductions in trade distortions for both imported and exported goods. Rural well-being has improved partly because of these reforms, and also because of strengthening of markets, public investment in infrastructure, research and development, health and education, and reductions in barriers to mobility of labor out of agriculture. Many challenges remain in improving rural incomes and reducing rural poverty.

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This chapter was published in:
  • Robert C. Feenstra & Shang-Jin Wei, 2010. "China's Growing Role in World Trade," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number feen07-1, October.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10467.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10467
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
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    1. Terry Sicular & Yue Ximing & Björn Gustafsson & Li Shi, 2007. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap And Inequality In China," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 53(1), pages 93-126, 03.
    2. Jikun Huang & Ninghui Li & Scott Rozelle, 2003. "Trade Reform, Household Effects, and Poverty in Rural China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1292-1298.
    3. Balat, Jorge F. & Porto, Guido G., 2005. "The WTO Doha Round, cotton sector dynamics, and poverty trends in Zambia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3697, The World Bank.
    4. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611.
    5. Renfu Luo & Linxiu Zhang & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2010. "Village Elections, Public Goods Investments and Pork Barrel Politics, Chinese-style," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 662-684.
    6. Daniel H. Rosen & Scott Rozelle & Jikan Huang, 2004. "Roots of Competitiveness: China's Evolving Agriculture Interests," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa72.
    7. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 1996. "Technological change: Rediscovering the engine of productivity growth in China's rural economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 337-369, May.
    8. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 675-704, October.
    9. Allan N. Rae & Hengyun Ma & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2006. "Livestock in China: Commodity-Specific Total Factor Productivity Decomposition Using New Panel Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 88(3), pages 680-695.
    10. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
    11. Albert Park & Hehui Jin & Scott Rozelle & Jikun Huang, 2002. "Market Emergence and Transition: Arbitrage, Transaction Costs, and Autarky in China's Grain Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 67-82.
    12. Sicular, Terry, 1988. "Plan and Market in China's Agricultural Commerce," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 283-307, April.
    13. de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John T., 2012. "Migrant Labor Markets and the Welfare of Rural Households in the Developing World: Evidence from China," IZA Discussion Papers 6765, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, William J. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Methodology for Measuring Distortions to Agricultural Incentives," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48326, World Bank.
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