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Agricultural Trade Reform and Poverty in the Asia-Pacific: A Survey and Some New Results

  • John Gilbert

We review the literature on the relationship between agricultural trade policy reform and poverty, and the results of recent detailed simulation studies applied to economies in the ESCAP region. We then use the GTAP model to evaluate the possible impacts of the most recently proposed modality for agricultural trade reform under Doha on the economies of the ESCAP region. We compare the results to a benchmark of comprehensive agricultural trade reform. We find that the current proposal does not result in significant cuts to applied tariffs, and has very modest overall effects on welfare. Poverty in the region would decrease overall, but the distribution across countries is uneven. By contrast, comprehensive agricultural trade reform, with developing economies fully engaged, tends to benefit most economies in the region in the aggregate, and to consistently lower poverty.

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Paper provided by United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) in its series MPDD Working Paper Series with number WP/08/01.

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Handle: RePEc:unt:wpmpdd:wp/08/01
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  1. Thomas Hertel & Jeffrey Reimer, 2005. "Predicting the poverty impacts of trade reform," The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 14(4), pages 377-405.
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  17. Cororaton, Caesar B. & Cockburn, John & Corong, Erwin, 2005. "Doha scenarios, trade reforms, and poverty in the Philippines," MTID discussion papers 86, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  18. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "How Have the World's Poorest Fared since the Early 1980s?," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 19(2), pages 141-169.
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