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Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007

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  • Lloyd, Peter J.
  • Croser, Johanna L.
  • Anderson, Kym

Abstract

Despite reforms over the past quarter-century, world agricultural markets remain highly distorted by government policies. Traditional indicators of those price distortions such as the nominal rate of assistance and consumer tax equivalent provide measures of the degree of intervention, but they can be misleading as indicators of the true effects of those policies. By drawing on recent theoretical literature that provides indicators of the trade- and welfare-reducing effects of price and trade policies, this paper develops more-satisfactory indexes for capturing distortions to agricultural incentives. It then exploits the Agricultural Distortion database recently compiled by the World Bank to generate estimates of them for both developing and high-income countries over the past half century, based on a sample of 75 countries that together account for all but one-tenth of the world’s population, GDP and agricultural production. While they are still only partial equilibrium measures, they provide a much better approximation of the true trade and welfare effects of sectoral policies without needing a formal model of global markets or even price elasticity estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Lloyd, Peter J. & Croser, Johanna L. & Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 48049, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aare09:48049
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    File URL: http://ageconsearch.umn.edu/record/48049/files/Anderson%201.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hiau LooiKee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2009. "Estimating Trade Restrictiveness Indices," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 119(534), pages 172-199, January.
    2. Anderson, James E. & Bannister, Geoffrey, 1992. "The trade restrictiveness index : an application to Mexican agriculture," Policy Research Working Paper Series 874, The World Bank.
    3. Feenstra, Robert C., 1995. "Estimating the effects of trade policy," Handbook of International Economics,in: G. M. Grossman & K. Rogoff (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1553-1595 Elsevier.
    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. Hiau Looi Kee & Alessandro Nicita & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2008. "Import Demand Elasticities and Trade Distortions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 666-682, November.
    6. Johanna L. Croser & Peter J. Lloyd & Kym Anderson, 2010. "How Do Agricultural Policy Restrictions on Global Trade and Welfare Differ Across Commodities?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 698-712.
    7. MacLaren, Donald & Lloyd, Peter J., 2008. "Measuring assistance to the agricultural industry in Australia using a Production Assistance Index," 2008 Conference (52nd), February 5-8, 2008, Canberra, Australia 6033, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
    8. Valenzuela, Ernesto & Wong, Sara & Sandri, Damiano, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Ecuador," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 48394, World Bank.
    9. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611, March.
    10. 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, January.
    11. Kym Anderson & William A. Masters, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2607.
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    Citations

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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. Croser, Johanna & Anderson, Kym, 2011. "Changing contributions of different agricultural policy instruments to global reductions in trade and welfare," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 10(03), pages 297-323, July.
    3. Anderson, Kym & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2010. "Agricultural and trade policy reforms in Latin America: impacts on markets and welfare," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), April.
    4. Johanna L. Croser & Peter J. Lloyd & Kym Anderson, 2010. "How Do Agricultural Policy Restrictions on Global Trade and Welfare Differ Across Commodities?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 698-712.
    5. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2009. "Agricultural Distortion Patterns Since the 1950s: What Needs Explaining?," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 50305, World Bank.
    6. Cletus C. Coughlin, 2010. "Measuring international trade policy: a primer on trade restrictiveness indices," Review, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, issue Sep, pages 381-394.
    7. Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Krueger/Schiff/Valdés Revisited: Agricultural Price and Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries since 1960," CEPR Discussion Papers 7601, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    8. Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Political Economy of Distortions to Agricultural Incentives: Introduction and Summary," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper Series 50306, World Bank.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • 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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