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Economics of export taxation in a context of food crisis


  • Bouet, Antoine
  • Laborde Debucquet, David


This paper aims to assess the rationales for the use of export taxes, in particular in the context of a food crisis. First, we summarize the effects of export taxes using both partial and general equilibrium theoretical models. When large countries have an objective of constant food domestic prices, in the event of an increase in world agricultural prices the optimal response is to decrease import tariffs in net food-importing countries and to increase export tariffs in net food-exporting countries. The latter decision is welfare improving while the former is welfare reducing: it is the price to pay to get domestic food prices constant. Small countries are harmed by both decisions. Second, we illustrate the costs of a lack of cooperation in and regulation of (binding process) such policies in a time of crisis using a global computable general equilibrium (CGE) model illustration, mimicking the mechanisms that have appeared during the recent food price surge. We conclude with a call for international regulation, in particular because small net food-importing countries may be substantially harmed by these beggar-thy-neighbor policies that amplify the already negative impact of the food crisis.

Suggested Citation

  • Bouet, Antoine & Laborde Debucquet, David, 2010. "Economics of export taxation in a context of food crisis," IFPRI discussion papers 994, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  • Handle: RePEc:fpr:ifprid:994

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Bouet, Antoine & Decreux, Yvan & Fontagne, Lionel & Jean, Sebastien & Laborde, David, 2005. "A Consistent Picture of Applied Protection Across the World," Working Papers 18859, TRADEAG - Agricultural Trade Agreements.
    2. Broda, Christian & Limão, Nuno & Weinstein, David E., 2006. "Optimal Tariffs: The Evidence," CEPR Discussion Papers 5540, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Peter G. Warr, 2001. "Welfare Effects of an Export Tax: Thailand's Rice Premium," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 83(4), pages 903-920.
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    5. Diamond, P. A., 1975. "A many-person Ramsey tax rule," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(4), pages 335-342, November.
    6. Houssein Guimbard & David Laborde Debucquet & Cristina Mitaritonna, 2009. "A Picture of Tariff Protection Across the World in 2004 MAcMap-HS6, Version 2," Working Papers 2009-22, CEPII research center.
    7. Peter Warr, 2002. "Export taxes and income distribution: The Philippines coconut levy," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 138(3), pages 437-458, September.
    8. Yvan Decreux & Hugo Valin, 2007. "MIRAGE, Updated Version of the Model for Trade Policy Analysis: Focus on Agriculture and Dynamics," Working Papers 2007-15, CEPII research center.
    9. Rodrik, Dani, 1989. "Optimal trade taxes for a large country with non-atomistic firms," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(1-2), pages 157-167, February.
    10. Corden, W. M., 1971. "The substitution problem in the theory of effective protection," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 1(1), pages 37-57, February.
    11. Mohamed Hedi Bchir & Yvan Decreux & Jean-Louis Guérin & Sébastien Jean, 2002. "MIRAGE, a Computable General Equilibrium Model for Trade Policy Analysis," Working Papers 2002-17, CEPII research center.
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    Cited by:

    1. Will Martin & Kym Anderson, 2012. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(2), pages 422-427.
    2. Michele Ruta & Anthony J. Venables, 2012. "International Trade in Natural Resources: Practice and Policy," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 4(1), pages 331-352, August.
    3. Laborde Debucquet, David & Majeed, Fahd & Tokgoz, Simla & Torero, Máximo, 2016. "Long-term drivers of food and nutrition security:," IFPRI discussion papers 1531, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    4. Yu, T. Edward & Tokgoz, Simla & Wailes, Eric & Chavez, Eddie C., 2017. "A quantitative analysis of trade policy responses to higher world agricultural commodity prices:," IFPRI book chapters,in: Agriculture, development, and the global trading system: 2000– 2015, chapter 11 International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    5. Rutten, Martine & Shutes, Lindsay & Meijerink, Gerdien, 2013. "Sit down at the ball game: How trade barriers make the world less food secure," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(C), pages 1-10.
    6. Karapinar, Baris & Tanaka, Tetsuji, 2013. "How to Improve World Food Supply Stability Under Future Uncertainty: Potential Role of WTO Regulation on Export Restrictions in Rice," 135th Seminar, August 28-30, 2013, Belgrade, Serbia 160387, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Giordani, Paolo E. & Rocha, Nadia & Ruta, Michele, 2012. "Food prices and the multiplier effect of export policy," WTO Staff Working Papers ERSD-2012-08, World Trade Organization (WTO), Economic Research and Statistics Division.
    8. David Laborde & Simla Tokgoz & Maximo Torero, 2013. "Long-Term Drivers of Food and Nutrition Security," FOODSECURE Working papers 6, LEI Wageningen UR.
    9. Antoine Bouët & David Laborde Debucquet, 2012. "Food crisis and export taxation: the cost of non-cooperative trade policies," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer;Institut für Weltwirtschaft (Kiel Institute for the World Economy), vol. 148(1), pages 209-233, April.
    10. Djuric, Ivan & Gotz, Linde & Glauben, Thomas, 2012. "Vertical Price Transmission in Serbian Wheat-to-Bread Supply Chain during the Global Commodity Price Peaks 2007/2008 and 2010/2011," 2012 Conference, August 18-24, 2012, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil 126775, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    11. Olga Solleder, 2013. "Panel Export Taxes (PET) Dataset: New Data on Export Tax Rates," IHEID Working Papers 07-2013, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.
    12. repec:unu:wpaper:wp2012-43 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Das, Gouranga, 2012. "Trans-border Land Acquisitions:A New Guise of Outsourcing and Host Country Effects," MPRA Paper 40651, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    14. Olga Solleder, 2013. "Trade Effects of Export Taxes," IHEID Working Papers 08-2013, Economics Section, The Graduate Institute of International Studies.

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    Computable general equilibrium (CGE); export taxes; Food crisis; optimum tariff;

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