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Agricultural Distortions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Trade and Welfare Indicators, 1961 to 2004

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  • Anderson, Kym
  • Croser, Johanna L.

Abstract

For decades, agricultural price and trade policies in Sub-Saharan Africa hampered farmers’ contributions to economic growth and poverty reduction. While there has been much policy reform over the past two decades, the injections of agricultural development funding, together with on-going regional and global trade negotiations, have brought distortionary policies under the spotlight once again. A key question asked of those policies is: how much are they still reducing national economic welfare and trade? Economy-wide models are able to address that question, but they are not available for many poor countries. Even where they are, typically they apply to just one particular previous year and so are unable to provide trends in effects over time. This paper provides a partial-equilibrium alternative to economy-wide modelling, by drawing on a modification of so-called trade restrictiveness indexes to provide theoretically precise indicators of the trade and welfare effects of agricultural policy distortions to producer and consumer prices over the past half-century. We generate time series of country level indices, as well as Africa-wide aggregates. We also provide annual commodity market indices for the region, and we provide a sense of the relative importance of the key policy instruments used.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L., 2010. "Agricultural Distortions in Sub-Saharan Africa: Trade and Welfare Indicators, 1961 to 2004," CEPR Discussion Papers 7747, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:7747
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    Cited by:

    1. World Bank, 2011. "Missing Food : The Case of Postharvest Grain Losses in Sub-Saharan Africa," World Bank Other Operational Studies 2824, The World Bank.
    2. Kym Anderson & Markus Bruckner, 2012. "Distortions to Agriculture and Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa," Departmental Working Papers 2012-06, The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    agricultural price and trade policies; distorted incentives; trade restrictiveness index;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • F15 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Economic Integration
    • N57 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - Africa; Oceania
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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