Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms

22 Pages Posted: 28 Jul 2011

See all articles by Kym Anderson

Kym Anderson

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR); Australian National University

Will J. Martin

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2011

Abstract

For individual countries, variable trade barriers can be used to reduce the volatility of domestic relative to world prices. If this is done by countries accounting for a large share of the market, its effect is offset by increases in world price volatility. This study shows the nature of the resulting collective action problem, with the policy being ineffective on average in stabilizing domestic prices while increasing the volatility of the income transfers from terms-of-trade changes. A simple approach to assessing the contribution of insulation to the price increases is developed and used with new estimates of agricultural distortions to assess its contribution to the price spikes in 1972-4 and 2006-8 for rice and wheat. The analysis suggests that 45 percent of the increase in rice prices in 2006-8, and 30 percent of the increase in wheat prices, was due to insulating behavior. One sign of progress since 1972-74 was a substantial reduction in the extent of price-insulating behavior by the industrial countries. This provides little stabilizing benefit in the rice market because countries not classifying themselves at WTO as developing account for only 3 percent of world rice consumption, but it does offer some benefit for the wheat market where non-developing countries account for 27 percent of consumption.

Keywords: Food price volatility, food security, insulating trade policies

JEL Classification: F13, Q02, Q17, Q18

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym and Martin, William J., Export Restrictions and Price Insulation During Commodity Price Booms (July 2011). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP8494, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1898000

Kym Anderson (Contact Author)

University of Adelaide - Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) ( email )

School of Economics
Adelaide SA 5005
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)
+61 8 8223 1460 (Fax)

Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

London
United Kingdom

Australian National University ( email )

Arndt-Corden Dept of Economics
Coombs Building
Canberra, AK ACT 2600
Australia
+61 8 8313 4712 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://publicpolicy.anu.edu.au/crawford_people/content/staff/acde/kanderson.php

William J. Martin

International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) ( email )

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

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