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Agricultural Price Distortions: Trends and Volatility, Past and Prospective

  • Anderson, Kym

For decades, earnings from farming in many developing countries have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favouring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and almost certainly added to global inequality and poverty. Progress has been made over the past three decades in reducing agricultural protection in high-income countries and agricultural disincentives in developing countries, but the propensity of governments to insulate their domestic food market from fluctuations in international prices has not waned. Both food-importing and food-exporting countries engage in insulating behaviour, which contributes to the amplification of international food price fluctuations yet does little to advance their national food security. Thus much scope still remains to improve economic welfare and to reduce poverty by removing remaining trade distortions. This paper summarizes indicators of these trends and fluctuations in farm trade barriers before examining what unilateral or multilateral trade arrangements, together with complementary domestic measures, could help advance global food security.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/125692
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Paper provided by International Association of Agricultural Economists in its series 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil with number 125692.

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Date of creation: 15 Jun 2012
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Handle: RePEc:ags:iaae12:125692
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  1. Henning Tarp Jensen & Sherman Robinson & Finn Tarp, 2010. "Measuring Agricultural Policy Bias: General Equilibrium Analysis of Fifteen Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1136-1148.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Cockburn, John & Martin, Will, 2011. "Would freeing up world trade reduce poverty and inequality ? the vexed role of agricultural distortions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5603, The World Bank.
  3. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2011. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Valenzuela, Ernesto & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique & Anderson, Kym, 2008. "General equilibrium effects of price distortions on global markets, farm incomes and welfare," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48630, World Bank.
  5. Johnson, D. Gale, 1987. "World Agriculture In Disarray Revisited," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 31(02), August.
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  7. Anderson, Kym & Lloyd, Peter & MacLaren, Donald, 2008. "Distortions to agricultural incentives in Australia since world war II," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4471, The World Bank.
  8. Ravallion, Martin & Chen, Shaohua & Sangraula, Prem, 2007. "New evidence on the urbanization of global poverty," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4199, The World Bank.
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  10. Richard J. Sexton, 2013. "Market Power, Misconceptions, and Modern Agricultural Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(2), pages 209-219.
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  12. Hertel, Thomas W. & Beckman, Jayson F., 2010. "Commodity Price Volatility in the Biofuel Era: An Examination of the Linkage between Energy and Agricultural Markets," 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado 60857, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  13. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
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  14. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," Trinity Economics Papers tep0107, Trinity College Dublin, Department of Economics.
  15. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Tiwari, Sailesh & Zaman, Hassan, 2011. "Can we rely on cash transfers to protect dietary diversity during food crises ? estimates from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5548, The World Bank.
  16. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "The changing geography of world trade: Projections to 2030," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 303-323.
  17. 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.
  18. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2013. "South America’s Contribution to World Food Markets: GTAP Projections to 2030," Working Papers 145369, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
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