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Trade in agricultural and food products
[Commerce des produits agricoles et alimentaires]


  • Carl Gaigne

    (SMART - Structures et Marché Agricoles, Ressources et Territoires - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement - Institut Agro Rennes Angers - Institut Agro - Institut national d'enseignement supérieur pour l'agriculture, l'alimentation et l'environnement, Centre de Recherche, CREATE - ULaval - Université Laval [Québec])

  • Christophe C. Gouel

    (CEPII - Centre d'Etudes Prospectives et d'Informations Internationales - Centre d'analyse stratégique, UMR PSAE - Paris-Saclay Applied Economics - AgroParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)


This chapter reviews how the literature on trade in agricultural and food products has developed over the last 20 years. Its evolution has been heavily influenced by several developments in the international trade literature. The first relates to trade theories that connect closely with observables: new Ricardian models and firm-level analysis. The second relates to a shift toward applied work involving estimated gravity models and counterfactual simulations. Within a unifying framework, we provide a bird-eye overview of recent developments in trade literature that improves the predictive capability of empirical and theoretical studies for agricultural and food sectors. We highlight how land heterogeneity, technology, vertical relationships in the food chain, quality of food products, and taste affect agri-food trade and its welfare consequences. We also discuss the emergence of new policy issues such as climate change, quality standards, food security, market volatility, and nutrition transition, where although trade may not be at the center of the issues it mediates most of the effects. Last, this chapter identifies possible future developments to make agricultural trade a very active research field, with specific focus on the consumer preferences, hidden costs, production technologies, and market structures.

Suggested Citation

  • Carl Gaigne & Christophe C. Gouel, 2022. "Trade in agricultural and food products [Commerce des produits agricoles et alimentaires]," Post-Print hal-03707237, HAL.
  • Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-03707237
    DOI: 10.1016/bs.hesagr.2022.03.004
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    Cited by:

    1. Anderson, Kym, 2022. "Trade-related food policies in a more volatile climate and trade environment," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 109(C).
    2. Karagulle, Yunus Emre & Emlinger, Charlotte & Grant, Jason, 2022. "Agricultural Trade Costs in 21st Century: New Evidence," 2022 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, Anaheim, California 322575, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    3. Wijesinghe, Asanka & Kaushalya, Thilani, 2022. "Caloric consumption efficiency and import dependency: Evidence from Sri Lanka," Economic Analysis and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 76(C), pages 420-438.
    4. Djontu, Bruno Legrand, 2022. "Déterminants et efficacité des exportations camerounaises des produits agricoles : Une application du modèle de gravité à la frontière stochastique [Determinants and potential of Cameroon’s agricul," MPRA Paper 113959, University Library of Munich, Germany, revised 01 Aug 2022.

    More about this item


    Agriculture; Food industry; Heterogeneity; Comparative advantage; Quality; Trade; Volatility; Input-output relationships;
    All these keywords.

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