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Food security and trade negotiations in the World Trade Organization

  • Diaz-Bonilla, Eugenio
  • Thomas, Marcelle
  • Robinson, Sherman
  • Cattaneo, Andrea

An important issue in WTO trade negotiations is whether further liberalization of trade and agricultural policies may help or hinder food security in WTO member countries, especially the developing countries. The WTO recognizes various classifications of countries: developed, developing, least developed (LDC) and net food importing developing (NFIDC). How well do these categories capture issues of food security? This paper employs various methods of cluster analysis (including an approach based on fuzzy sets) and data for 167 countries to identify groups of countries categorized according to five measures of food security: food production per capita, the ratio of total exports to food imports, calories per capita, protein per capita, and the share of the non-agricultural population share. The analysis identifies 12 distinct clusters characterized by similarities and differences across the various measures. The analysis suggests that the LDC category consists of largely food insecure countries, but that there also are food insecure countries that are not LDCs. NFIDCs is less precise as an indicator of food vulnerability, with more than a third of those countries not falling under any of the food insecure groups. Also, the general category of “developing countries” is very heterogeneous and is not very useful if the focus is on issues of food security. Finally, our typology shows that all developed countries are included in food secure categories.

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Paper provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in its series TMD discussion papers with number 59.

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Date of creation: 2000
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Handle: RePEc:fpr:tmddps:59
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  1. Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L. & Morris, Saul Sutkover & Maxwell, Daniel G. & Oshaug, Arne & Engle, Patrice L. & Menon, Purnima & Slack, Alison T. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 1998. "Urban challenges to food and nutrition security," FCND discussion papers 51, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Cattaneo, Andrea & Robinson, Sherman, 2000. "Empirical models, rules, and optimization," TMD discussion papers 53, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  3. Haddad, Lawrence James & Ruel, Marie T. & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Are urban poverty and undernutrition growing?," FCND discussion papers 63, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  4. Smith, Lisa C. & Haddad, Lawrence James, 2000. "Explaining child malnutrition in developing countries: a cross-country analysis," Research reports 111, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  5. Dollar, David & Kraay, Aart, 2001. "Growth is good for the poor," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2587, The World Bank.
  6. Smith, Lisa C., 1998. "Can FAO's measure of chronic undernourishment be strengthened?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 425-445, October.
  7. Smith, Lisa C. & Naiken, Logan, 1998. "Can FAO's measure of chronic undernourishment be strengthened?," FCND discussion papers 44, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  8. Delgado, Christopher L. & Hopkins, Jane & Kelly , Valerie & Hazell, P. B. R. & McKenna, Anna A. & Gruhn, Peter & Hojjati, Behjat & Sil, Jayashree & Courbois, Claude, 1998. "Agricultural growth linkages in Sub-Saharan Africa:," Research reports 107, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  9. Ruel, Marie T. & Haddad, Lawrence James & Garrett, James L., 1999. "Some urban facts of life," FCND discussion papers 64, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
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