Implications of the Doha Market Access Proposals for Developing Countries

35 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by David Laborde

David Laborde

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Will J. Martin

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Dominique van der Mensbrugghe

World Bank

Date Written: June 1, 2011


This paper uses detailed data on bound and applied tariffs to assess the consequences of the World Trade Organization?s December 2008 Modalities for tariffs levied and faced by developing countries, and the welfare implications of these reforms. The authors find that the tiered formula for agriculture would halve tariffs in industrial countries and lower them more modestly in developing countries. In non-agriculture, the formulas would reduce the tariff peaks facing developing countries and cut average industrial country tariffs by more than a third. The authors use a political-economy framework to assess the implications of flexibilities for the size of the tariff cuts and find they are likely to substantially reduce the outcome. However, despite the flexibilities, there are likely to be worthwhile gains, with applied tariffs facing developing countries cut by about 20 percent in agriculture and 27 percent in non-agriculture, and sizeable cuts in tariffs facing industrial countries. The welfare impacts of reform are evaluated using a new approach to aggregation that improves on the traditional, flawed approach of weighted-average tariffs. This substantially increases the estimated benefits of an agreement along the lines of these modalities, with estimated global income gains of up to $160 billion per year from market access reform.

Keywords: International Trade and Trade Rules, Agribusiness, Free Trade, Trade Policy, Debt Markets

Suggested Citation

Laborde, David and Martin, William J. and van der Mensbrugghe, Dominique, Implications of the Doha Market Access Proposals for Developing Countries (June 1, 2011). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 5679, Available at SSRN:

David Laborde (Contact Author)

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

United States

William J. Martin

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

1201 Eye St, NW,
Washington, DC 20005
United States

Dominique Van der Mensbrugghe

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20433
United States
202-473-0052 (Phone)
202-522-1159 (Fax)


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