Agricultural Trade Costs

John C. Beghin, Heidi Schweizer
August 2020  [20-WP 608]

This article tracks the recent evolution of salient trade costs in agricultural and food markets. We review ways to measure costs and conditions for policy prescriptions to reduce them when feasible. We pay attention to transportation costs, border measures, and standard-like nontariff measures. By pointing out limitations in current approaches and recent developments, we hope to improve our understanding of their effects. We suggest promising directions for further research and investigation of agricultural trade costs, including on the emerging debate on gene-editing and trade, transportation costs, and mainstreaming recent approaches in disentangling effects of trade costs on supply, demand, trade, prices, and welfare.

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