The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access

31 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2006

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)

Ernesto Valenzuela

Federation University Australia

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2006

Abstract

The claim by global trade modelers that the potential contribution to global economic welfare of removing agricultural subsidies is less than one-tenth of that from removing agricultural tariffs puzzles many observers. To help explain that result, this paper first compares the OECD and model-based estimates of the extent of the producer distortions (leaving aside consumer distortions), and shows that 75 percent of total support is provided by market access barriers when account is taken of all forms of support to farmers and to agricultural processors globally, and only 19 percent to domestic farm subsidies. We then provide a back-of-the-envelope (BOTE) calculation of the welfare cost of those distortions. Assuming unitary supply and demand elasticities, that BOTE analysis suggests 86 percent of the welfare cost is due to tariffs and only 6 percent to domestic farm subsidies. When the higher costs associated with the greater variability of trade measures relative to domestic support are accounted for, the BOTE estimate of the latter's share falls to 4 percent. This is close to the 5 percent generated by the most commonly used global model (GTAP) and reported in the paper's final section.

Keywords: Trade policy reform, computable general equilibrium modeling, agricultural protection, economic welfare

JEL Classification: C68, D58, Q17, Q18

Suggested Citation

Anderson, Kym and Martin, William J. and Valenzuela, Ernesto, The Relative Importance of Global Agricultural Subsidies and Market Access (March 2006). CEPR Discussion Paper No. 5569, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=912473

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

Ernesto Valenzuela

Federation University Australia ( email )

100 Clyde Rd
Berwick, Victoria 3806
Australia

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