Food Prices and Rural Poverty
by M. Ataman Aksoy and Bernard M. Hoekman, May 2010
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The impact of food price changes depend on the income sources of households and the second order responses of consumers and producers. This book tries to generate new information derived from household data on the income sources, behavior of food prices, and case studies on the impacts of food price changes on poor households and countries. The authors show that international price increases were not passed on to domestic food prices and international prices have been high only for 10 of the last 60 years. Food sales constitute one of the biggest cash incomes for poor rural households, and agricultural households, however defined, are much poorer than non agricultural ones. Net food sellers are also poorer than net food buyers so lower prices help richer net buyers and hurt the poorer net sellers. Impact of high food prices on the imports of poorer developing countries is very small, less than 1 percent of GDP.
Case studies on the impact of price changes show that poor households can gain in Vietnam with price increases and with price decreases in Bangladesh. They also show that households can change their net buying or selling status so the estimates based on one period household data can be very misleading. All these results suggest that increases in food prices might be good for the rural areas and for the poor which are predominantly located in these areas.
Agricultural Price Distortions, Inequality, and Poverty
by Kym Anderson, John Cockburn, Will Martin, March 2010
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Trade policy reforms in recent decades have sharply reduced the distortions that were harming agriculture in developing countries. Yet global trade in farm products continues to be far more distorted than trade in nonfarm goods, and in ways that reduce some forms of poverty and inequality but worsen others, so the net effects are unclear without empirical modeling.
Using a new set of estimates of agricultural price distortions, this book brings together economy-wide global and national empirical studies that focus on the net effects of the remaining distortions to world merchandise trade on poverty and inequality globally and in various developing countries. The global LINKAGE model results suggest that removing remaining distortions would reduce international inequality, largely by boosting net farm incomes and raising real wages for unskilled workers in developing countries, and would reduce the number of poor people worldwide by 3 percent. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>
Self-Enforcing Trade - Developing Countries and WTO Dispute Settlement
by Chad P. Bown, November 2009
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Self-Enforcing Trade examines the WTO's "extended litigation process," highlighting the tangle of international economics, law, and politics that participants must master. He identifies the costs that prevent developing countries from disentangling the self-enforcement process and fully using the WTO system as part of their growth strategies. Bown assesses recent efforts to help developing countries overcome those costs, including the role of the Advisory Centre on WTO Law and development focused NGOs. Bown's proposed Institute for Assessing WTO Commitments tackles the largest remaining obstacle currently limiting developing country engagement in the WTO's selfenforcement process -- a problematic lack of information, monitoring, and surveillance.
Distortions to Agricultural Incentives: A Global Perspective, 1955-2007
by Kym Anderson, October 2009
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The fifth and last volume in the Distortions to Agricultural Incentives series focus on distortions to agricultural incentives from a global perspective.
Distortions to Agricultural Incentives series brings together analytical narratives of the evolution over the past half-century of policy-imposed distortions to farmer incentives and food prices in 80 countries, drawing on new, consistent set of estimates spanning 90 percent of the world's agricultural markets. The first two titles in the series focus on Europe's transitional economies and Latin America. Other forthcoming titles in this series will focus on Africa and Asia. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>
Trade Preference Erosion: Measurement and Policy Response
by Bernard Hoekman, Will Martin, Carlos Alberto Braga, April 2009
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Unilateral preferences granted by OECD countries introduced an inevitable tension between "more preferred" developing countries - typically beneficiaries from pre-existing colonial regimes - and other developing countries with respect to the effects of most-favored-nation liberalization by preference-granting countries. Concerns about preference erosion became an important point of debate in the the WTO Doha Development Agenda negotiations. Since the late 1990s, major OECD countries have significantly increased the scope and coverage of unilateral preferential regimes for the least developed countries; hence, it is not surprising that preference erosion has become an issue of concern.
This volume reviews the current value of preference programs of major OECD countries for beneficiary countries, assesses the implications of preference erosion under different global liberalization scenarios, and discusses potential policy responses. Contributions to the volume provide detailed analyses of specific preference programs and undertake cross-country, disaggregated analyses of the impact of preferences at the product level. Understanding the likely impacts and how those impacts are distributed is a precondition for formulating appropriate policy responses to preference erosion. A case is made that such responses need to focus on enhancing the competitiveness and supply side capacity of developing countries.
Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa
by Kym Anderson and William A. Masters, March 2009
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Comprehensive empirical studies of the disarray in world agricultural markets appeared approximately 20 years ago. Since then, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development has provided estimates each year of market distortions in high-income countries, but there have been no comparable estimates for the world's developing countries.
This volume is the third in a series that not only fills that void for recent years but extends the estimates in a consistent and comparable way back in time's and provides analytical narratives for scores of countries that shed light on the evolving nature and extent of policy interventions over the past half-century. This title provides an overview of the evolution of distortions to agricultural incentives caused by price and trade policies in the Arab Republic of Egypt plus 20 countries that account for about of 90 percent of Sub-Saharan Africa's population, farm households, agricultural output, and overall GDP. Sectoral, trade, and exchange rate policies in the region have changed greatly since the 1950s, and there have been substantial reforms since the 1980s. Nonetheless, numerous price distortions in this region remain, others have been added in recent years, and there has also been some backsliding, such as in Zimbabwe. The new empirical indicators in these country studies provide a strong evidence based foundation for assessing the successes and failures of the past and for evaluating policy options for the years ahead. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>
Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia
by Kym Anderson and Will Martin, February 2009
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Distortions to Agricultural incentives in Asia is the third volume in a series of books that brings together analytical narratives of the evolution over the past half-century of policy -imposed distortions to farmer incentives and food prices in 80 countries. Drawing on new consistent set of estimates spanning 90 percent of the world's agricultural markets. The first two titles in the series focus on Europe's transitional economies and Latin America. Future titles will focus on Africa and the distortions to agricultural incentives from a global perspective. More about Distortions to Agricultural Incentives >>
China's and India's Challenge to Latin America: Opportunity or Threat?
Edited by Daniel Lederman, Marcelo Olarreaga, Guillermo E. Perry, 2009
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The economic successes of China and India are viewed with admiration but also with concern because of the effects that the growth of these Asian economies may have on the Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region. The evidence in "China's and India's Challenge to Latin America" indicates that certain manufacturing and service industries in some countries have been negatively affected by Chinese and Indian competition in third markets and that LAC imports from China and India have been associated with modest unemployment and adjustment costs in manufacturing industries. The book also provides substantial evidence of positive aggregate effects for LAC economies associated with China's and India's greater presence in world exports, financial flows, and innovation. Chinese and Indian growth is creating new production possibilities for LAC economies, particularly in sectors that rely on natural resources and scientific knowledge.
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