IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Multifunctionality: Concepts and Applications to the WTO Negotiations on Agriculture


  • Bredahl, Maury E.
  • Prestegard, Sjur Spildo
  • Nersten, Nils Kristian


The ongoing negotiations in the WTO will most certainly lead to a further liberalization of the global agricultural trade. Related to this, many national governments, including Norway, Switzerland and Japan have placed substantial emphasis on the so-called non-trade concerns. In addition to the production of food and fiber, agriculture also provides or may provide national food security, environmental benefits, and viable rural areas. The term "Multifunctional Agriculture" has been applied to describe these additional functions. In this paper, we will show how the economic concepts of "positive and negative externalities" and "public goods" can be used to analyse non-trade concerns and multifunctionality, especially with reference to agriculture's impact on the environment. We conclude the paper with suggestions for international trade rules that can allow countries to meet domestic environmental policy objectives in a minimally trade-distorting manner.

Suggested Citation

  • Bredahl, Maury E. & Prestegard, Sjur Spildo & Nersten, Nils Kristian, 2002. "Multifunctionality: Concepts and Applications to the WTO Negotiations on Agriculture," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24970, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:eaae02:24970

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alves, Eliseu Roberto de Andrade & Faro, Clovis De & Contini, Elisio, 1991. "Government and Agricultural Development," 1991 Conference, August 22-29, 1991, Tokyo, Japan 183249, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    2. Baumol,William J. & Oates,Wallace E., 1988. "The Theory of Environmental Policy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521322249.
    3. Ian Hodge, 2000. "Agri-environmental Pelationships and the Choice of Policy Mechanism," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(2), pages 257-273, February.
    4. Romstad, Eirik, 2002. "Policies for Promoting Public Goods in Agriculture," 2002 International Congress, August 28-31, 2002, Zaragoza, Spain 24930, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    5. Corden, W.M., 1984. "The normative theory of international trade," Handbook of International Economics,in: R. W. Jones & P. B. Kenen (ed.), Handbook of International Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 63-130 Elsevier.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    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:ags:eaae02:24970. 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: (AgEcon Search). General contact details of provider: .

    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.