333 research outputs found

    The right price of food.

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    The right price of food: reflections on the political economy of policy analysis and communication.

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    Only a few years ago the widely shared view was that low food prices were a curse to developping countries and poor.The dramatic increase of food prices in 2006-2008 appears to have fundamentally altered this view. The vast majority of analyses and reports in 2008 and 2009 state that high food prices have e devastating effect on developing countries and the world's poor. This reversal of opinion raises questions about the old and the new arguments and about the proposed remedies. It also raises questions about the causes of this dramatic turnaround in analysis and policy conclusions. In this paper I document these changes in perspective and I discuss potential implications and offer hypotheses on the cause of the change in views.

    The political economy of the 2003 reform of the common agricultural policy.

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    The 2003 reform of the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) under Commissioner Fischler was the most radical in the history of the CAP. This paper analyzes the causes and constraints of the reform. The paper argues that an unusual combination of pro-reform factors came together in the first years of the 21st century, making this reform possible.

    Trade, development, and the political economy of public standards.

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    This paper presents a political economy model of public standards in an open economy model. We use the model to derive the political optimum and to analyze different factors that have an influence on this political equilibrium. The paper discusses how the level of development influences the political equilibrium. We also analyze the relation between trade and the political equilibrium and compare this political outcome with the social optimum to identify under which cases ‘under-standardization’ or ‘over-standardization’ results, and which standards can be labeled as (producer)protectionist measures.

    Standards as barriers and catalysts for trade and poverty reduction.

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    The importance of food standards in global agricultural trade has increased strongly, but the effects are uncertain. Several studies argue that these standards imposed by high-income countries diminish the export opportunities for developing countries and concentrate the benefits of trade with processing and retailing companies and large farms, thereby casting doubt on the development impact of international agricultural trade. Other argue that the standards can be catalysts for growth. In this paper we critically review the arguments and empirical evidence on the link between increasing food standards, developing country exports and welfare in those countries. We conclude that the evidence is often weaker as claimed. We also provide new insights from two recent survey-based empirical studies. We conclude that standards can be a catalyst for trade, growth and poverty reduction in developing countries.Trade;