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Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China

  • Jikun Huang
  • Yu Liu
  • Will Martin
  • Scott Rozelle

Tariffs on agricultural products fell sharply in China both prior to, and as a consequence of, China's accession to the WTO. The paper examines the nature of agricultural trade reform in China since 1981, and finds that protection was quite strongly negative for most commodities, and particularly for exported goods, at the beginning of the reforms. Since then, the taxation of agriculture has declined sharply, with the abolition of production quotas and procurement pricing, and reductions in trade distortions for both imported and exported goods. Rural well-being has improved partly because of these reforms, and also because of strengthening of markets, public investment in infrastructure, research and development, health and education, and reductions in barriers to mobility of labor out of agriculture. Many challenges remain in improving rural incomes and reducing rural poverty.

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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 13958.

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Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China , Jikun Huang, Yu Liu, Will Martin, Scott Rozelle. in China's Growing Role in World Trade , Feenstra and Wei. 2010
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:13958
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  1. de Brauw, Alan & Giles, John, 2008. "Migrant labor markets and the welfare of rural households in the developing world : evidence from China," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4585, The World Bank.
  2. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 1996. "Technological change: Rediscovering the engine of productivity growth in China's rural economy," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 337-369, May.
  3. Sicular, Terry & Yue, Ximing & Gustafsson, Bjorn & Li, Shi, 2006. "The Urban-Rural Income Gap and Inequality in China," Working Paper Series RP2006/135, World Institute for Development Economic Research (UNU-WIDER).
  4. Rae, Allan N. & Ma, Hengyun & Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott, 2005. "Livestock in China: Commodity-specific Total Factor Productivity Decomposition Using New Panel Data," 2005 Conference, August 26-27, 2005, Nelson, New Zealand 98507, New Zealand Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
  5. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611.
  6. Balat, Jorge F. & Porto, Guido G., 2005. "The WTO Doha Round, cotton sector dynamics, and poverty trends in Zambia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3697, The World Bank.
  7. Sicular, Terry, 1988. "Plan and Market in China's Agricultural Commerce," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 96(2), pages 283-307, April.
  8. Daniel H. Rosen & Scott Rozelle & Jikan Huang, 2004. "Roots of Competitiveness: China's Evolving Agriculture Interests," Peterson Institute Press: All Books, Peterson Institute for International Economics, number pa72.
  9. Albert Park & Hehui Jin & Scott Rozelle & Jikun Huang, 2002. "Market Emergence and Transition: Arbitrage, Transaction Costs, and Autarky in China's Grain Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 84(1), pages 67-82.
  10. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, William J. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Methodology for Measuring Distortions to Agricultural Incentives," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48326, World Bank.
  11. Huang, Jikun & Rozelle, Scott & Martin, William J. & Liu, Yu, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in China," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48478, World Bank.
  12. Renfu Luo & Linxiu Zhang & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle, 2010. "Village Elections, Public Goods Investments and Pork Barrel Politics, Chinese-style," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 46(4), pages 662-684.
  13. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring Distortions to Agricultural Incentives, Revisited," CEPR Discussion Papers 6924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  14. Jikun Huang & Ninghui Li & Scott Rozelle, 2003. "Trade Reform, Household Effects, and Poverty in Rural China," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(5), pages 1292-1298.
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