Agriculture's 'Multifunctionality' and the WTO

Posted: 20 Sep 2000

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

Abstract

Are the agricultural policy reforms embodied in the Uruguay Round consistent with meeting domestic policy objectives such as providing adequate food security, environmental protection and viability of rural areas? This article examines the claim that agriculture deserves more price support and import protection than other sectors because of the non-marketed externalities and public goods it produces jointly with marketable food and fibre (agriculture's so-called 'multifunctionality'). Do these unrewarded positive externalities exceed the negative externalities from farming by more than the net positive externalities produced by other sectors? To what extent are those farmer-produced spillovers under-supplied, and what are the most efficient ways to boost their production to the socially optimal levels? The article concludes that there is little trade-off required to meet domestic policy objectives on the one hand and agricultural protection reform objectives as embodied in WTO rules on the other.

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym, Agriculture's 'Multifunctionality' and the WTO. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=241297

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

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