The Doha Talks and the Bargaining Surplus in Agriculture

The Doha Round has been slow to achieve a reduction in the level of agricultural protection. This remains the case notwithstanding the substantial economic benefits that would arise from a more liberal agricultural trading regime. We provide one explanation for this slowness using a simple bargaining model. We demonstrate that the bargaining countries received a substantial fiscal gain from reducing government expenditures in the run-up to the Uruguay Round. This fiscal pressure was sufficient to block rent seekers who wanted farm payments to continue. Since the Uruguay Round these fiscal constraints have been reduced and the same pressure to reach a bargain and control rent-seeking behaviour is not present in the Doha Round.

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Journal Article
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Estey Journal of International Law and Trade Policy, Volume 08, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2018-01-22

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