The IMF Working Papers series is designed to make IMF staff research available to a wide audience. Almost 300 Working Papers are released each year, covering a wide range of theoretical and analytical topics, including balance of payments, monetary and fiscal issues, global liquidity, and national and international economic developments.
This paper provides the first comprehensive empirical analysis of agricultural trade using a gravity model. The data set covers bilateral trade in agricultural goods for 152 countries over the periods 1990-93 and 1999-2002. The estimations support claims that protectionism and distortive subsidies to agriculture remain widespread in more developed nations, which are shown to import less and export more agricultural products than expected given other economic, political, and geographic determinants of trade. However, some developing regions that are often thought to be the main victims of industrial-country protectionism are also found to be relatively closed to agricultural trade.