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Agricultural Distortion Patterns Since the 1950s: What Needs Explaining?

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Croser, Johanna L.
  • Sandri, Damiano
  • Valenzuela, Ernesto

This paper summarizes a new database that sheds light on the impact of trade-related policy developments over the past half century on distortions to agricultural incentives and thus also to consumer prices for food in 75 countries spanning the per capita income spectrum. Price-support policies of advanced economies hurt not only domestic consumers and exporters of other products but also foreign producers and traders of farm products, and they reduce national and global economic welfare. On the other hand, the governments of many developing countries have directly taxed their farmers over the past half-century, both directly (e.g., export taxes) and also indirectly via overvaluing their currency and restricting imports of manufactures. Thus the price incentives facing farmers in many developing countries have been depressed by both own-country and other countries’ agricultural price and international trade policies. We summarize these and related stylized facts that can be drawn from a new World Bank database that is worthy of the attention of political economy theorists, historians and econometricians. These indicators can be helpful in addressing such questions as the following: Where is there still a policy bias against agricultural production? To what extent has there been overshooting in the sense that some developing-country food producers are now being protected from import competition along the lines of the examples of earlier-industrializing Europe and Japan? What are the political economy forces behind the more-successful reformers, and how do they compare with those in less-successful countries where major distortions in agricultural incentives remain? And what explains the pattern of distortions across not only countries but also industries and in the choice of support or tax instruments within the agricultural sector of each country?

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50305
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Paper provided by World Bank in its series Agricultural Distortions Working Paper with number 50305.

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Date of creation: May 2009
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Handle: RePEc:ags:wbadwp:50305
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.worldbank.org

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  1. 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.
  2. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J. & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2007. "Long Run Implications of WTO Accession for Agriculture in China," China's Agricultural Trade: Issues and Prospects Symposium, July 2007, Beijing, China 55025, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
  3. Anderson, Kym, 1993. "Lobbying Incentives and the Pattern of Protection in Rich and Poor Countries," CEPR Discussion Papers 789, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Hayami, Yujiro, 2005. "An Emerging Agricultural Problem in High-Performing Asian Economies," Miscellaneous Papers 11826, Agecon Search.
  5. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611, September.
  6. 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.
  7. 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).
  8. Anderson, Kym & Martin, William J. & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," 2006 Annual meeting, July 23-26, Long Beach, CA 21180, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  9. D. Gale Johnson, 1987. "World Agriculture In Disarray Revisited," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 31(2), pages 142-153, 08.
  10. Kym Anderson, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives : A Global Perspective, 1955-2007," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 9436, September.
  11. Kym Anderson & Peter Lloyd & Donald Maclaren, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Australia Since World War II," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(263), pages 461-482, December.
  12. 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, June.
  13. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521351058 is not listed on IDEAS
  14. De Gorter, Harry & Swinnen, Johan, 2002. "Political economy of agricultural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 36, pages 1893-1943 Elsevier.
  15. Krueger, Anne O & Schiff, Maurice & Valdes, Alberto, 1988. "Agricultural Incentives in Developing Countries: Measuring the Effect of Sectoral and Economywide Policies," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 2(3), pages 255-71, September.
  16. Keijiro Otsuka & Takashi Yamano, 2006. "Introduction to the special issue on the role of nonfarm income in poverty reduction: evidence from Asia and East Africa," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 35(s3), pages 393-397, November.
  17. Anderson, Kym & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe’s Transition Economies," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48556, World Bank.
  18. Pardey, Philip G. & James, Jennifer S. & Alston, Julian M. & Wood, Stanley & Koo, Bonwoo & Binenbaum, Eran & Hurley, Terrance M. & Glewwe, Paul & Mayer, Jorge & Jones, Richard & De Groote, Hugo & Kana, 2007. "Science, Technology and Skills," Reports 136256, University of Minnesota, International Science and Technology Practice and Policy.
  19. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
  20. Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto & Anderson, Kym, 2007. "Economic And Trade Indicators For Asia, 1960 To 2004," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48435, World Bank.
  21. Dervis, Kemal & de Melo, Jaime & Robinson, Sherman, 1981. "A General Equilibrium Analysis of Foreign Exchange Shortages in a Developing Economy," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 91(364), pages 891-906, December.
  22. Valenzuela, Ernesto & Wong, Sara & Sandri, Damiano, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Ecuador," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48394, World Bank.
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