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Domestic support and tariff reductions in the presence of non-tariff barriers: A gravity model for primary and processed agricultural products

  • Tamini, Lota
  • Ghazalian, Pascal
  • Gervais, Jean-Philippe
  • Larue, Bruno

Agricultural trade liberalization negotiations are currently at a crossroads. Progress was made to eliminate export subsidies, but small open economies’ demand for lower domestic support and tariffs on agricultural goods do not find much support among large policy active countries. Many non-tariff barriers still also impede agricultural trade. This paper presents the theoretical foundations of a gravity model to explain trade flows of both primary agricultural commodities and processed foods. At the consumer level, commodities are differentiated according to their country of origin while primary agricultural goods are homogenous from the buyers’ perspective. However, primary goods can not be substituted costlessly across destinations from the sellers’ perspective due to differences in technical and sanitary regulations between countries. These assumptions yield well-behaved import demand functions at the consumer level and export supply functions at the producer level. Imperfect substitutability at the consumption and production levels is summarized in two important structural parameters. The role of these parameters in explaining bilateral trade patterns is illustrated for a three-country world market using a numerical example. The simulation investigates whether it is more important for a small open economy that large policy active countries reduce agricultural tariffs or domestic support. It also addresses the implications of tariff escalation on trade flows.

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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 2743.

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Date of creation: 01 Apr 2006
Date of revision: 01 Dec 2006
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:2743
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  1. repec:att:wimass:9713 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Marion Desquilbet & Hervé Guyomard, 1998. "Agricultural Export Subsidies and Intermediate Goods Trade: Comment," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(2), pages 422-425.
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  9. Fernando Alvarez & Robert E. Lucas, 2005. "General Equilibrium Analysis of the Eaton-Kortum Model of International Trade," NBER Working Papers 11764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Touhami Abdelkhalek & Jean-Marie Dufour, 1998. "Statistical Inference For Computable General Equilibrium Models, With Application To A Model Of The Moroccan Economy," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(4), pages 520-534, November.
  11. Baier, Scott L. & Bergstrand, Jeffrey H., 2001. "The growth of world trade: tariffs, transport costs, and income similarity," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(1), pages 1-27, February.
  12. Bergstrand, Jeffrey H, 1985. "The Gravity Equation in International Trade: Some Microeconomic Foundations and Empirical Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(3), pages 474-81, August.
  13. Geraci, Vincent J & Prewo, Wilfried, 1982. "An Empirical Demand and Supply Model of Multilateral Trade," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(3), pages 432-41, August.
  14. Golub, Stephen S & Finger, J M, 1979. "The Processing of Primary Commodities: Effects of Developed-Country Tariff Escalation and Developing-Country Export Taxes," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(3), pages 559-77, June.
  15. Keeney, Roman & Thomas Hertel, 2005. "GTAP-AGR : A Framework for Assessing the Implications of Multilateral Changes in Agricultural Policies," GTAP Technical Papers 1869, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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