Developing country interests in agricultural reforms under the World Trade Organization

Xinshen Diao, Terry Roe, Agapi Somwaru

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Growth in the number of countries engaged in international trade and the share of world GDP traded show that the new era of globalization is far-reaching. This process was stimulated by lowering barries to trade in goods, services, and ideas and caused many, but not all, countries to benefit, with some doubling their per capita income in a period of less than ten years (Baldwin and Martin). However, protection of agriculture by countries in the North is still quite high and remains a constraint to trade to many countries in the South. Since most developing countries have a disproportionate share of their resources in agriculture, a more open world agricultural market should afford them greater opportunities to increase exports and to participate more activety in the new globalization era. This study focuses on these linkages with emphasis on the cost of agricultural protection in the North to developing countries. Identifying and measuring the extent of developing countries' gains and losses by region from liberalizing world agricultural markets are important to understanding the nature of their interest in trade reform, as well as to facilitate possible policies to minimize the losses of the adjustment process. For this purpose, we first focus on the data pertaining to North-South and regional agricultural trade. This analysis suggests how reform in the North is likely to have differential impacts on developing countries in different regions. Then, we report the results from a global general equilibrium model in which developed and developing countries are categorized into various subgroups. Based on a global database (the Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) database version 5, 2001), we discuss the interests of different developing country subgroups and quantify the potential impacts of a global agricultural liberalization process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)782-790
Number of pages9
JournalAmerican Journal of Agricultural Economics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2002


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