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Trade and Food Security Conceptualizing the Linkages

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  • Arvind Panagariya

Abstract

Traditionally, food security is defined in terms of either food self-sufficiency or food self-reliance. The former requires production of various food items in the quantities consumed domestically while the latter requires domestic availability. Based on this distinction, self-sufficiency rules out imports as a source of supply while self-reliance admits them. In modern times, given much larger worldwide capacity to produce food than consume it, few restrictions on the exports of food items in countries with the excess capacity, and the availability of the means of transportation that allow their rapid movement internationally, self-sufficiency makes little economic sense. Instead, what countries need is sufficient capacity to generate foreign exchange by specializing in goods of their comparative advantage and import the excess of quantities consumed over those produced. Therefore, accepting food self-reliance as the means to achieve food security, we may ask how the liberalization of trade in agriculture including food will impact developing countries. In attempting to answer this question, we must distinguish between importers and exporters of the products as also between liberalization in the developed and developing countries. If the objective is to study the impact on the poor, much finer analysis is required since we must decompose the effects at the national level into effects on the poor and non-poor. This is clearly a complex exercise even conceptually so that our goals should be modest. Specifically, it may be wiser to focus on the impact of liberalization on broad groups within the nation rather than go all the way down to the household level as ambitiously suggested by McCulloch et al. (2001).

Suggested Citation

  • Arvind Panagariya, 2003. "Trade and Food Security Conceptualizing the Linkages," International Trade 0308012, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpit:0308012 Note: Type of Document - Tex/WordPerfect/Handwritten; prepared on IBM PC - PC-TEX/UNIX Sparc TeX; to print on HP/PostScript/Franciscan monk; pages: 345,395,4323247 ; figures: included
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Aaditya Mattoo & Devesh Roy & Arvind Subramanian, 2003. "The Africa Growth and Opportunity Act and its Rules of Origin: Generosity Undermined?," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 26(6), pages 829-851, June.
    2. Grossman, Gene M, 1982. "Import Competition from Developed and Developing Countries," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 64(2), pages 271-281, May.
    3. Arvind Panagariya, 1999. "The Regionalism Debate: An Overview," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(4), pages 477-512, June.
    4. Brown, Drusilla K, 1989. "Trade and Welfare Effects of the European Schemes of the Generalized System of Preferences," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 37(4), pages 757-777, July.
    5. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "Developing Countries at Doha: A Political Economy Analysis," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(9), pages 1205-1233, September.
    6. Arvind Panagariya, 2002. "EU Preferential Trade Arrangements and Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(10), pages 1415-1432, November.
    7. repec:wsi:wschap:9789812815330_0001 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Arvind Panagariya, 2000. "Preferential Trade Liberalization: The Traditional Theory and New Developments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 38(2), pages 287-331, June.
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    Cited by:

    1. Margaret S. McMillan & Alix Peterson Zwane & Nava Ashraf, 2007. "My Policies or Yours: Does OECD Support for Agriculture Increase Poverty in Developing Countries?," NBER Chapters,in: Globalization and Poverty, pages 183-240 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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    JEL classification:

    • F1 - International Economics - - Trade
    • F2 - International Economics - - International Factor Movements and International Business

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