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Trade Policy Coordination and Food Price Volatility

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  • Christophe Gouel

Abstract

Many countries adjust their trade policies counter cyclically with foodprices,to the extent that the use by numerous foodexporters of export restrictions has occasionally threatened the foodsecurity of food importing countries.These tradepolicies are inconsistent with the terms-of-trade motivation often retained to characterize the pay-off frontier of self-enforcing trade agreements,as they can worsen the terms of trade of the countries that apply them.This paper analyzes trade policy coordination when trade policies are driven by terms-of-trade effects and a desire to reduce domestic food price volatility. This frame work implies that importing and exporting countries have incentives to deviate from cooperation at different periods:the latter when prices are high and the former when prices are low. Since staplefood prices tend to have asymmetric distributions,with more prices below than above the mean but with occasional spikes,a self-enforcing agreement generates asymmetric outcomes.Without cooperation,an importing country uses more frequently its trade policy because of the concentration of prices below the mean,but an exporting country has a greater incentive to deviate from a cooperative trade policy because positive deviations from the mean price are larger than negative ones.Thus,the asymmetry of the distribution of commodity prices can make it more difficult to discipline export taxes than tariffs in trade agreements.

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  • Christophe Gouel, 2015. "Trade Policy Coordination and Food Price Volatility," FOODSECURE Working papers 29, LEI Wageningen UR.
  • Handle: RePEc:fsc:fspubl:29
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    2. Fabio Gaetano Santeramo & Emilia Lamonaca, 2019. "On the drivers of global grain price volatility: an empirical investigation," Agricultural Economics, Czech Academy of Agricultural Sciences, vol. 65(1), pages 31-42.
    3. Wenshou Yan, 2016. "Political Economy of Trade and Storage Policies Coordination, and the Role of Domestic Public Storage in the World Market," School of Economics and Public Policy Working Papers 2016-16, University of Adelaide, School of Economics and Public Policy.
    4. Distefano, Tiziano & Chiarotti, Guido & Laio, Francesco & Ridolfi, Luca, 2019. "Spatial Distribution of the International Food Prices: Unexpected Heterogeneity and Randomness," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 159(C), pages 122-132.
    5. Estrades, Carmen, 2015. "The Role of Export Restrictions in Agriculture Trade," 2015: Trade and Societal Well-Being, December 13-15, 2015, Clearwater Beach, Florida 229229, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
    6. Bradford, Scott C. & Negi, Digvijay Singh & Ramaswami, Bharat, 2022. "International risk sharing for food staples," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 158(C).
    7. Lusheng Shao & Derui Wang & Xiaole Wu, 2022. "Competitive trading in forward and spot markets under yield uncertainty," Production and Operations Management, Production and Operations Management Society, vol. 31(9), pages 3400-3418, September.
    8. Laura Forastiere & Davide Del Prete & Valerio Leone Sciabolazza, 2020. "Causal Inference on Networks under Continuous Treatment Interference," Papers 2004.13459, arXiv.org, revised Jun 2023.
    9. Tarek Ben Hassen & Hamid El Bilali & Mohammed Al-Maadeed, 2020. "Agri-Food Markets in Qatar: Drivers, Trends, and Policy Responses," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(9), pages 1-31, May.
    10. Shon Ferguson & David Ubilava, 2022. "Global commodity market disruption and the fallout," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 66(4), pages 737-752, October.
    11. Valeria Borsellino & Emanuele Schimmenti & Hamid El Bilali, 2020. "Agri-Food Markets towards Sustainable Patterns," Sustainability, MDPI, vol. 12(6), pages 1-35, March.
    12. Marije Schaafsma & Ilda Dreoni & Lacour Mody Ayompe & Benis Egoh & Dewa Putu Ekayana & Arilson Favareto & Sonny Mumbunan & Louise Nakagawa & Jonas Ngouhouo‐poufoun & Marieke Sassen & Thiago Kanashiro , 2023. "A framework to understand the social impacts of agricultural trade," Sustainable Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 138-150, February.
    13. Tiziano Distefano & Guido Chiarotti & Francesco Laio & Luca Ridolfi, 2018. "Spatial distribution of the international food prices: unexpected randomness and heterogeneity," SEEDS Working Papers 0118, SEEDS, Sustainability Environmental Economics and Dynamics Studies, revised Jan 2018.

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    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • 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; Animal Welfare Policy

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