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How do agricultural policy restrictions to global trade and welfare differ across commodities ?, Volume 1
Author:Lloyd, Peter J.; Croser, Johanna L.; Anderson, Kym; Country:World;
Date Stored:2009/04/20Document Date:2009/03/01
Document Type:Policy Research Working PaperSubTopics:Crops and Crop Management Systems; Economic Theory & Research; Currencies and Exchange Rates; Emerging Markets; Agribusiness
Language:EnglishRegion:The World Region
Report Number:WPS4864Collection Title:Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 4864
Volume No:1Related Dataset:A supplementary database of trade and welfare reduction indexes; Estimates of Distortions to Agricultural Incentives, 1955-2011 (updated June 2013);

Summary: For decades the world's agricultural markets have been highly distorted by national government policies, but very differently for different commodities. Hence a weighted average across countries of nominal rates of assistance or consumer tax equivalents for a product can be misleading as an indicator of the trade or welfare effects of policies affecting that product's global market. This is especially the case when some countries tax and others subsidize its production or consumption. This article develops a new set of more-satisfactory indicators for that purpose, drawing on the recent literature on trade restrictiveness indexes. It then exploits a global agricultural distortions database recently compiled by the World Bank to generate the first set of estimates of those two indicators for each of 28 key agricultural commodities from 1960 to 2004, based on a sample of 75 countries that together account for more than three-quarters of the world's production of those agricultural commodities. These reveal the considerable extent of reforms in agricultural policies of developing as well as high-income countries over the past two decades.

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