nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Caribbean Economics
Issue of 2005‒01‒23
three papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. Multilateral Agricultural Trade Liberalization: The Contrasting Fortunes of Developing Countries in the Doha Round By Antoine Bouet; Jean-Christophe Bureau; Yvan Decreux; Sebastien Jean
  2. Small-Scale Irrigation Dams, Agricultural Production, and Health: Theory and Evidence from Ethiopia By Lire Ersado

  1. By: Antoine Bouet; Jean-Christophe Bureau; Yvan Decreux; Sebastien Jean
    Abstract: An applied general equilibrium model is used to assess the impact of multilateral trade liberalization in agriculture, with particular emphasis on developing countries. We use original data, and the model includes some specific features such as a dual labor market. Applied tariffs, including those under preferential regimes and regional agreements, are taken into account at the detailed product level, together with the corresponding bound tariffs on which countries negotiate. The various types of farm support are detailed, and several groups of developing countries are distinguished. Simulations give a contrasted picture of the benefits developing countries would draw from the Doha development round. The results suggest that previous studies that have neglected preferential agreements and the binding overhang (in tariffs as well as domestic support), and have treated developed countries with a high level of aggregation have been excessively optimistic about the actual benefits of multilateral trade liberalization. Regions like sub-Saharan Africa are more likely to suffer from the erosion of existing preferences. The main gainers of the Doha round are likely to be developed countries and Cairns group members.
    Keywords: CGE model; Doha Round; agriculture; tariff preferences; domestic support; Foreign Direct Investment
    JEL: F12 F13 D58 Q17
    Date: 2004–11
  2. By: Lire Ersado
    Abstract: Ersado looks at the feasibility and potential of instituting small-scale irrigation dams to reduce Ethiopia’s dependence on rainfed agriculture and the associated food insecurity. He develops a theoretical framework to assess the welfare implications of irrigation development programs and provides empirical evidence from microdam construction and reforestation projects in northern Ethiopia. The author pays particular attention to health-related costs of establishing small-scale irrigation dams in areas prone to waterborne diseases. While the theoretical analyses imply that the net welfare impacts of irrigation dams cannot be known a priori due to potential health costs, the empirical evidence shows that current agricultural yield and farm profit have increased in villages with closer proximity to the dams than in those more distant. The increased disease incidence due to standing pools of water has, however, led to significant declines in the returns from investment in irrigation water. Households with poor health are less likely to adopt productivity-enhancing as well as resource-conserving technologies, which are crucial for achieving the ultimate goal of sustainable agricultural development. The ensuing sickness has also led to reduction in labor allocation to off-farm activities. The findings underline the importance of weighing beforehand the magnitude of potential economic benefits against health costs of water development programs. The overall evidence, however, suggests that carefully designed irrigation dams could significantly improve agricultural production and food security, particularly in areas where waterborne diseases pose negligible risk to health or can be cost-effectively controlled. This paper—a product of the Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Sector Unit, Europe and Central Asia Region—is part of a larger effort in the Bank to achieve global food security and poverty alleviation.
    Keywords: Agriculture; Environment; Health & Population; Labor & Employment; Public Sector Management; Rural Development
    Date: 2005–01–14
  3. By: Edgar L. Feige (University of Wisconsin-Madison); David M. Blau (University of Wisconsin-Madison)
    Abstract: This paper analyses the problem of natural resource scarcity and its implications for economic development and international cooperation. We examine the meaning and measurement of resource “scarcity” and its implications for economic growth and development. The paper describes the conditions required for the efficient use of exhaustible natural resources and for optimal inter-temporal efficient paths and considers the consequences of uncertainty, risk, externalities, disequilibria and institutional constraints on the market’s ability to achieve efficient resource utilization. Particular attention is paid to the implications of the cartelization of natural resource industries and the disturbing tendency to use political rather than economic motivations as the basis for resource production and distribution decisions. Reference: Resources and Development: Natural Resource Polices and Economic Development in an Interdependent World. P. Dorner and M.A.El- Shafie (eds), University of Wisconsin Press, 1980
    Keywords: Natural resource scarcity, cartels, OPEC, energy prices,economic development,non-renewable resources,efficiency
    JEL: Q3 Q4 L1 L41 D6 D8
    Date: 2005–01–19

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