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Abstract

This study develops an import demand model to explore the role of income in explaining the trade performance of low, middle and high-income countries with a special emphasis on Brazil, Russia, India and China – the BRIC economies. The study estimates the impact of the growth in per capita income on the trade of agrifood products using data for 52 countries and 20 agrifood products for the years 1990 to 2006. The results suggest that China, Russia and Brazil have more income elastic import demand than other middle-income countries. Conversely, the income elasticities of import demand in India are similar to other low-income countries and for the most part statistically equal to zero.

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