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The Cost of Food Self-Sufficiency and Agricultural Protection in South Korea


  • Beghin, John C.
  • Bureau, Jean-Christophe
  • Park, Sung Joon


As part of its food security policy, South Korea has been pursuing food self-sufficiency using high tariffs and high administrative prices in key agricultural and food markets. Using a dual approach to trade and trade restrictiveness indices, we analyze the impact of these market distortions on welfare and trade volume. Then, we compute optimum distortions, which minimize the welfare cost of observed self-sufficiency and production objectives. We rationalize these optimum distortions to what could be claimed as legitimate protection under a "food security" (FS) box in World Trade Organization negotiations. FS-box protection is sensitive to changes in the definition and the extent of the FS objectives. We show that FS via production targets and reliance on imports would be more palatable to consumers and trade partners, while preserving rents to the farm sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Beghin, John C. & Bureau, Jean-Christophe & Park, Sung Joon, 2002. "The Cost of Food Self-Sufficiency and Agricultural Protection in South Korea," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24879, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24879

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. James E. Anderson & J. Peter Neary, 1996. "A New Approach to Evaluating Trade Policy," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 63(1), pages 107-125.
    2. Makki, Shiva S. & Tweeten, Luther G. & Miranda, Mario J., 2001. "Storage-trade interactions under uncertainty: Implications for food security," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 127-140, February.
    3. James E. Anderson & Will Martin, 1996. "The Welfare Analysis of Fiscal Policy: A Simple Unified Account," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 316., Boston College Department of Economics.
    4. Alan Matthews, 2001. "The position of the developing countries in the WTO negotiations on agricultural trade liberalisation," CEG Working Papers 20011, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
    5. Josling, Timothy E. & Honma, Masayoshi & Lee, Jaeok & MacLaren, Donald & Miner, William M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Tangermann, Stefan & Valdes, Alberto, 1994. "The Uruguay Round Agreement On Agriculture: An Evaluation," Commissioned Papers 14621, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    6. Salvatici, Luca & Carter, Colin A. & Sumner, Daniel A., 1997. "The Trade Restrictiveness Index: The Potential Contribution To Agricultural Policy Analysis," 1997 Annual meeting, July 27-30, Toronto, Canada 21028, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
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    Cited by:

    1. Joo, Hyunjeong & Mishra, Ashok K., 2013. "Labor Supply and Food Consumption Behavior of Farm Households: Evidence from South Korea," 2013 Annual Meeting, August 4-6, 2013, Washington, D.C. 150420, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.


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