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Changing Ccontributions of Different Agricultural Policy Instruments to Global Reductions in Trade and Welfare


  • Johanna Croser

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)

  • Kym Anderson

    () (School of Economics, University of Adelaide)


Trade negotiators and policy advisors are keen to know the relative contribution of different farm policy instruments to international trade and economic welfare. Nominal rates of assistance or producer support estimates are incomplete indicators, especially when (especially in developing countries) some commodities are taxed and others are subsidized in which case positive contributions can offset negative contributions. This paper develops and estimates a new set of more-satisfactory indicators to examine the relative contribution of different farm policy instruments to reductions in agricultural trade and welfare, drawing on recent literature on trade restrictiveness indexes and a recently compiled database on distortions to agricultural prices for 75 developing and high-income countries over the period 1960 to 2004. Results confirm earlier findings that border taxes are the dominant instrument affecting global trade and welfare, but they also suggest declines in export taxes contributed nearly as much as cuts in import protection to global welfare gains from agricultural policy reforms since the 1980s.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Croser & Kym Anderson, 2010. "Changing Ccontributions of Different Agricultural Policy Instruments to Global Reductions in Trade and Welfare," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2010-05, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:adl:cieswp:2010-05

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889.
    2. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    3. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The relative importance of global agricultural subsidies and market access," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 5(03), pages 357-376, November.
    4. 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.
    5. Tyers,Rod & Anderson,Kym, 2011. "Disarray in World Food Markets," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521172318, March.
    6. Diao, Xinshen & Somwaru, Agapi & Roe, Terry L., 2001. "A Global Analysis Of Agricultural Trade Reform In Wto Member Countries," Bulletins 12984, University of Minnesota, Economic Development Center.
    7. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L. & Lloyd, Peter J, 2009. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 7160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Orden, David & Cheng, Fuzhi & Nguyen, Hoa & Grote, Ulrike & Thomas, Marcelle & Mullen, Kathleen & Sun, Dongsheng, 2007. "Agricultural producer support estimates for developing countries: Measurement issues and evidence from India, Indonesia, China, and Vietnam," Research reports 152, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    9. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611, June.
    10. Teresa Serra & David Zilberman & Barry K. Goodwin & Allen Featherstone, 2006. "Effects of decoupling on the mean and variability of output," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 33(3), pages 269-288, September.
    11. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 2005. "Measuring the Restrictiveness of International Trade Policy," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262012200, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kym Anderson & Johanna Croser, 2011. "Novel indicators of the trade and welfare effects of agricultural distortions in OECD countries," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 147(2), pages 269-302, June.
    2. Thennakoon, Jayanthi & Anderson, Kym, 2015. "Could the proposed WTO Special Safeguard Mechanism protect farmers from low international prices?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 106-113.
    3. Kym Anderson, 2016. "Contributions Of The Gatt/Wto To Global Economic Welfare: Empirical Evidence," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 30(1), pages 56-92, February.
    4. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    5. Anderson, Kym & Nelgen, Signe, 2012. "Trade Barrier Volatility and Agricultural Price Stabilization," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 40(1), pages 36-48.
    6. Ihle, Rico & Rubin, Ofir D., 2013. "Consequences of unintended food policies: Food price dynamics subject to the Israeli–Palestinian conflict," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(C), pages 96-105.

    More about this item


    Distorted incentives; agricultural price and trade policies; trade restrictiveness index;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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