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Agricultural Price Distortions: Trends and Volatility, Past and Prospective

  • Kym Anderson

    ()

Historically, earnings from farming in many developing countries have been depressed by a pro-urban bias in own-country policies, as well as by governments of richer countries favouring their farmers with import barriers and subsidies. Both sets of policies reduced global economic welfare and agricultural trade, and added to global inequality and poverty. Over the past three decades, much progress has been made in reducing agricultural protection in high-income countries and agricultural disincentives in developing countries. However, plenty of price distortions remain. As well, the propensity of governments to insulate their domestic food market from fluctuations in international prices has not waned. Such insulation contributes to the amplification of international food price fluctuations, yet it does little to advance national food security when food-importing and food-exporting countries equally engage in insulating behaviour. Thus there is still much scope to improve global economic welfare via multilateral agreement not only to remove remaining trade distortions but also to desist from varying trade barriers when international food prices gyrate. This paper summarizes indicators of trends and fluctuations in farm trade barriers before examining unilateral or multilateral trade arrangements, together with complementary domestic measures, that could lead to better global food security outcomes.

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File URL: https://crawford.anu.edu.au/acde/publications/publish/papers/wp2013/wp_econ_2013_01.pdf
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Paper provided by The Australian National University, Arndt-Corden Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 2013-01.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pas:papers:2013-01
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  1. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  2. Henning Tarp Jensen & Sherman Robinson & Finn Tarp, 2010. "Measuring Agricultural Policy Bias: General Equilibrium Analysis of Fifteen Developing Countries," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(4), pages 1136-1148.
  3. Johnson, D. Gale, 1987. "World Agriculture In Disarray Revisited," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 31(02), August.
  4. Anderson, Kym & Martin, Will, 2011. "Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms," CEPR Discussion Papers 8494, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Kym Anderson & Peter Lloyd & Donald MacLaren, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Australia Since World War II," Centre for International Economic Studies Working Papers 2007-01, University of Adelaide, Centre for International Economic Studies.
  6. Anderson, Kym & Cockburn, John & Martin, Will, 2010. "Would Freeing Up World Trade Reduce Poverty and Inequality? The Vexed Role of Agricultural Distortions," CEPR Discussion Papers 7749, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Ariel Fiszbein & Norbert Schady & Francisco H.G. Ferreira & Margaret Grosh & Niall Keleher & Pedro Olinto & Emmanuel Skoufias, 2009. "Conditional Cash Transfers : Reducing Present and Future Poverty," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2597.
  8. Gordon H. Hanson, 2012. "The Rise of Middle Kingdoms: Emerging Economies in Global Trade," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(2), pages 41-64, Spring.
  9. Richard J. Sexton, 2013. "Market Power, Misconceptions, and Modern Agricultural Markets," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 95(2), pages 209-219.
  10. Thomas W. Hertel & Jayson Beckman, 2011. "Commodity Price Volatility in the Biofuel Era: An Examination of the Linkage Between Energy and Agricultural Markets," NBER Working Papers 16824, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2012. "The changing geography of world trade: Projections to 2030," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(4), pages 303-323.
  12. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium
    [Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium]
    ," Introductory Chapters, Princeton University Press.
  13. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Tiwari, Sailesh & Zaman, Hassan, 2011. "Can we rely on cash transfers to protect dietary diversity during food crises ? estimates from Indonesia," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5548, The World Bank.
  14. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp205, IIIS.
  15. Valenzuela, Ernesto & van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique & Anderson, Kym, 2008. "General equilibrium effects of price distortions on global markets, farm incomes and welfare," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48630, World Bank.
  16. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 675-704, October.
  17. Martin Ravallion & Shaohua Chen & Prem Sangraula, 2007. "New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 667-701.
  18. Anderson, Kym & Strutt, Anna, 2013. "South America’s Contribution to World Food Markets: GTAP Projections to 2030," Working Papers 145369, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
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