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Doha Merchandise Trade Reform: What’s at Stake for Developing Countries?

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Martin, Will
  • van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique

This paper provides new estimates of the global gains from multilateral trade reform and their distribution among developing countries in the presence of trade preferences. Particular attention is given to agriculture, as farmers constitute the poorest households in developing countries but the most assisted in rich countries. The latest GTAP database (Version 6.05) and the World Bank’s LINKAGE model of the global economy are employed to examine the impact first of current merchandise trade barriers and agricultural subsidies, and then of possible reform outcomes from the WTO’s Doha Development Agenda. The results suggest moving to free global merchandise trade would boost real incomes in Sub-Saharan Africa proportionately more than in other developing countries or high-income countries, despite a terms of trade loss in parts of that region. Net farm incomes would all rise substantially in that and other developing country regions, thereby alleviating rural poverty. A Doha partial liberalization could move the world some way towards those desirable outcomes, but more so the more developing countries themselves cut applied tariffs, particularly on agricultural imports.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 5156.

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Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:5156
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  1. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2006. "Would Multilateral Trade Reform Benefit Sub-Saharan Africans?," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 15(4), pages 626-670, December.
  2. Thomas W. Hertel & L. Alan Winters, 2006. "Poverty and the WTO : Impacts of the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7411.
  3. Timothy J. Kehoe & Kim J. Ruhl, 2013. "How Important Is the New Goods Margin in International Trade?," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(2), pages 358 - 392.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2006. "The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access," CEPR Discussion Papers 5569, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2006. "Agricultural Trade Reform and the Doha Development Agenda," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6889.
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  8. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2008. "Agricultural trade reform under the Doha Agenda: some key issues ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 52(1), pages 1-16, 03.
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  17. Bernard Hoekman & Francis Ng & Marcelo Olarreaga, 2004. "Agricultural Tariffs or Subsidies: Which Are More Important for Developing Economies?," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(2), pages 175-204.
  18. John Baffes, 2005. "The "Cotton Problem"," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 20(1), pages 109-144.
  19. Hoekman, Bernard & Ozden, Caglar, 2005. "Trade preferences and differential treatment of developing countries : a selective survey," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3566, The World Bank.
  20. Ozden, Caglar & Sharma, Gunjan, 2004. "Price effects of preferential market access : the Caribbean Basin Initiative and the apparel sector," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3244, The World Bank.
  21. Anderson, Kym & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2005. "Do Global Trade Distortions Still Harm Developing Country Farmers?," CEPR Discussion Papers 5337, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  22. Wacziarg, Romain & Seddon, Jessica, 2000. "Trade Liberalization and Intersectoral Labor Movements," Research Papers 1652, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
  23. Marcelo Olarreaga & Çaglar Özden, 2005. "AGOA and Apparel: Who Captures the Tariff Rent in the Presence of Preferential Market Access?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 28(1), pages 63-77, 01.
  24. Sébastien Jean & David Laborde & Will Martin, 2005. "Consequences of Alternative Formulas for Agricultural Tariff Cuts," Working Papers 2005-15, CEPII research center.
  25. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, 2005. "Distortions to world trade: impacts on agricultural markets and farm incomes," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3736, The World Bank.
  26. Hertel, Thomas, 1997. "Global Trade Analysis: Modeling and applications," GTAP Books, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, number 7685, April.
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