The Role of Export Restrictions in Agricultural Trade

Produced by: 
Universidad de la República - Uruguay
Available from: 
May 2017
Paper author(s): 
Carmen Estrades
Manuel Flores
Guillermo Lezama
Topic: 
Agricultural - Natural Resource Economics
Globalization - Trade
Year: 
2017

Between 2006 and 2011, in a global context of rising food prices, many countries applied price-isolating policies, among them export restrictions. As countries are not obliged to notify WTO about the imposition of export restrictions, there is not good information about the measures applied. We fill this void by building a comprehensive database on export restrictions applied in the agricultural sector worldwide between 2005 and 2014. Using the Export Restriction in Agriculture (ERA) database, we assess the effects of export restrictions on agricultural trade and global food prices in 2005-2013. To do so, we estimate a disaggregated gravity model of trade. Clear evidence of export restrictions affecting world prices is limited to a handful of sectors, and weak evidence suggests that it may exist in some other sectors. We also find weak evidence of an impact of import promoting policies on agricultural prices. These results highlights the idea that export restrictions should be addressed at the multilateral level, but negotiations on export restrictions should not be disassociated from talks on other price-insulating policies.

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