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Abstract

We examine how changes in yield variability affect the welfare of cereal grain and oilseed buyers and producers around the world. We simulate trade patterns and welfare for 21 countries with a Ricardian trade model that incorporates bilateral trade costs and crop yield distributions. The model shows that world trade volumes would need to increase substantially if crop yield variability were to rise. Net welfare effects, however, are moderate so long as countries do not resort to policies that inhibit trade, such as export restrictions or measures to promote self-sufficiency in crops. Low-income countries suffer the most from increases in yield variability, due to higher bilateral trade costs and lower-than-average productivity.

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