Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Christian Bogmans, and Mr. Harris Selod
This paper is the first to provide both theoretical and empirical evidence of farmland
globalization whereby international investors directly acquire large tracts of agricultural land
in other countries. A theoretical framework explains the geography of farmland acquisitions
as a function of cross-country differences in technology, endowments, trade costs, and land
governance. An empirical test of the model using global data on transnational deals shows that
international farmland investments are on the aggregate likely motivated by re-exports to
investor countries rather than to world markets. This contrasts with traditional foreign direct
investment patterns where horizontal as opposed to vertical FDI dominates.
Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, Miss Taline Koranchelian, and Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados
Subsidy reform has been a key component of the pre-accession reform agenda of the 10 new member states that joined the EU in 2004 (EU-10). During the pre-accession period, these countries had to undertake a number of important structural reforms in their economies. One of the most critical reforms was to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate their subsidy programs. This paper analyzes how key subsidy reforms (in state aid to enterprises, agriculture, energy, and transportation) were carried out in the EU-10 during 1995–2005, and explains observed variations across types of subsidies and across countries. Based on an extensive qualitative analysis, the paper draws lessons for future successful reforms of government subsidies. 32B
This Selected Issues paper for Japan illustrates the impact of fiscal and structural reforms on the Japanese and world economies. Japan faces a sizable fiscal deficit, against a backdrop of weak trend growth and growing imbalances in the world economy. Moreover, upward pressure on health care and social security spending owing to an aging population will add significantly to strains on public resources in the near future. The Japanese government is taking a range of measures aimed at raising productivity growth and stabilizing the public debt in relation to GDP over the medium term.
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.
Despite ambitious agricultural reforms initiated by the federal government, inefficient and unprofitable producers predominate in post-Soviet Russia. However, in some regions a more robust restructuring has taken place. Observing two Russian regions-one with substantially restructured agricultural production, and one in which Soviet-style coordination predominates-we develop a model of the interactions between political and economic incentives that lead to these divergent outcomes. The model identifies region- and sector-specific characteristics that encourage some regional governments to maintain Soviet-style redistribution structures and make producers forsake more efficient outcomes as more costly, while encouraging other regions to pursue reform.
This paper analyses the economic costs of current agricultural policies in Turkmenistan. It argues that the opportunity cost of continuing with these policies is very high for the budget, the average farmer, and the economy as a whole. The paper calls for the development of nontraditional agricultural crops, which are more profitable than wheat and cotton in the international commodity markets, and a comprehensive and sustained reform strategy for the agricultural sector.
This chapter discusses principles and consequences of the common agricultural policy (CAP) of the European Community (EC). It shows that agricultural pricing policies aimed at supporting farm incomes were already in place in EC member countries before the inception of the CAP; indeed, in the presence of these policies, the CAP was a logical consequence of the extension of the common market to the agricultural sector. Thus, the flaws of the CAP can be traced back to national policies and attitudes toward agriculture. Recognition of the burden of agricultural support on the rest of the economy, as well as the growing budgetary costs, has elicited a greater public interest in the CAP. Equally, the trade frictions caused by export subsidies have underlined the CAP's international implications. For these reasons, the member states appear more determined than hitherto to bring agricultural expenditure under control. Given the wider effects of the CAP both on EC economies and the international community, it is to be hoped that current efforts at reform will be successful.
This paper examines the recent difficulties experienced in U.S. agriculture, and discusses the role played by government policies, in particular reviewing recent developments in those policies. Studies of the extent and costs of agricultural protection in the United States and other major countries are surveyed and possible effects of multilateral reform of agricultural policies are discussed.
The study reveals agricultural import restrictions are widely applied in Asia, but that Japan and Korea impose lower average tariffs and nontariff barriers with less frequency than most Asian countries. It also finds several low and middle-income countries enforce relatively low protection for basic foodstuffs, while high-income countries tend to impose relatively high protection for foods. Finally, commodity patterns of trade and protection suggest scope exists for successful reciprocal negotiations to liberalize agricultural trade mainly between low and middle-income Asian countries. Though similar gains might be achieved by unilateral liberalization, reciprocal negotiations are more feasible politically and, on a most-favored-nation basis, would imply greater trade expansion.