Agricultural Trade and the Environment

Current Projects

Current projects look at the interface between invasive species/exotic pest and agricultural trade. A first investigation looked at the implications of trade integration and multilateral trade liberalization for invasive species risk. A current investigation looks at the implications of tariff escalation for invasive species risk and identifies sufficient conditions to reduce the escalation in protection without exacerbating the environmental damages from invasive species (work by student A. Tu and Beghin). A starting project will look at the impact of invasive species regulation for seeds and their impact on seed trade (work by Beghin, Moschini and Mcgee (ISU Seed Sciences)).

Completed Projects

The most recently completed investigations deals with sanitary and phyto-sanitary (SPS) issues. A project just completed in winter 2005 looks at the impact of Japanese phyto-sanitary regulations to prevent infestation of fire blight in Japan and apple trade including the WTO dispute between the US and Japan (work by student C. Yue, Beghin, and Jensen). Another completed project on SPS issues looks at China’s significant compliance problems because of stricter SPS requirements in trade, and competitiveness in export markets. The project identifies the required changes in production and distribution methods in order to gain wider access to world markets. This study provides a systematic and comprehensive analysis of current Chinese SPS conditions, the food safety regulatory system, production environment, inspection technology, and information systems. This investigation was partial funded by MATRIC. (Work by Dong and Jensen).

A major focus of the work program has been on the trade-growth-environment interface in developing countries. A series of investigations looked at the environmental impact of trade liberalization in several countries including Mexico and its agriculture, Chile including the health impact of urban pollution, China, Vietnam, and several other Pacific-Rim countries. These investigations have led to a series of publications, and concluded with a book with Kluwer Academic Press in 2002. This research received support from the OECD Development Centre, the OECD Environment Directorate in Paris, and the World Bank. (Work by Beghin, Dessus, Elobeid, Roland-Holst, van der Mensbrugghe, former student B. Bowland, and others).

Another completed research program funded by the National Research Initiative (NRI) of the USDA, looked at the impact of environmental regulation on the competitiveness of agriculture with an emphasis on the hog industry. Environmental stringency measures were investigated and compared. (Work by former student M. Metcalfe and Beghin).

A last completed investigation, also funded by the NRI, looked at eco-labels in the U.S. textile industry, their market valuation, and their impact on the international competitiveness of U.S. cotton, especially organic cotton. The project also analyzed the feasibility of developing organic cotton production in U.S. agriculture. (Work by former student W. Nimon and Beghin).

Selected Publications

Exotic pest, invasive species, SPS, and trade

Yue, C., J. Beghin, and H. H. Jensen. "Tariff Equivalent of Technical Barriers to Trade with Imperfect Substitution and Trade Costs."

Tu, A.T., and J. Beghin. "Intra-Industry Trade, Multilateral Trade Integration and Invasive Species Risk."

Dong, F., and H.H. Jensen. "The Challenge of Conforming to Sanitary and Phytosanitary Measures for China’s Agricultural Exports."

Beghin J., and J.C. Bureau. "Quantitative Policy Analysis of Sanitary, Phytosanitary and Technical barriers to Trade," Economie Internationale 87(2001 – appeared in June 2002): 107-130. reprinted in S. Henson and J.S. Wilson, eds., The WTO and Technical Barriers to Trade, Critical Perspectives on the Global Trading System and the WTO series, Edward Elgar Publishing Ltd, forthcoming in 2005.

Trade and environment in developing countries and second-best issues

Beghin J., and S. Dessus. " Double Dividend with Trade Distortions. Analytical Results and Evidence from Chile."

Beghin J., D. Roland-Holst, and D. van der Mensbrugghe, eds. Trade and the Environment in General Equilibrium. Evidence from Developing Economies, Kluwer Academic Publishers, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2002.

Beghin J., B. Bowland, S. Dessus, D. Roland-Holst, and D. van der Mensbrugghe. "Trade Integration, Environmental Degradation, and Public Health in Chile: Assessing the linkages," Environment and Development Economics 7 (2002): 45-71.

Bowland B., and J. Beghin. "Robust Estimates of Value of a Statistical Life for Developing Economies," Journal of Policy Modeling 23(2001): 385-396.

Vukina T., J. Beghin, and E. Solakoglu. "Transition to Markets and the Environment: Effects of the Change in the Composition of Manufacturing Output," Environment and Development Economics 4 (1999): 582-598.

van der Mensbrugghe D, D. Roland-Holst, S. Dessus, and J. Beghin. "Growth, Trade, Pollution, and Natural-Resource Use in Chile. Evidence from an economywide model," Agricultural Economics 19 (1998): 87-97.

Beghin J. and M. Potier. "Effects of Trade Liberalisation on the Environment in the Manufacturing Sector," The World Economy 20(4) (1997): 435-456. Reprinted in Sir H. Singer, N. Hatti, and R. Tandon, eds., Trade and Environment – Recent Controversies. Vedams Books Ltd, New Delhi, India 2003.

Beghin J., D. Roland-Holst, and D. van der Mensbrugghe. "Trade and Environment Linkages. Piecemeal Reform and Optimal Intervention," Canadian Journal of Economics XXX (1997): 442-55.

Beghin J., D. Roland-Holst, and D. van der Mensbrugghe. "Trade Liberalization and the Environment in the Pacific Basin: Coordinated Approaches to Mexican Trade and Environment Policy," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 77 (1995): 778-785. Reprinted in G. Sampson and J. Whalley, eds., The WTO and the Environment Critical Perspectives on the Global Trading System and the WTO series, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming in 2005.

Environmental regulation and agricultural competitiveness

Metcalfe, M.R. "Environmental Regulation and Implications for Competitiveness in International Pork Trade," Journal of Agricultural and Resource-Economics July 2002 27(1): 222-43.

Metcalfe, M.R. "U.S. Hog Production and the Influence of State Water Quality Regulation," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics March 2001; 49(1): 37-52.

Beghin J., and M. Metcalfe. "Market Hogs? An International Perspective on Environmental Regulation and Competitiveness in the Hog Industry." Choices 15 (1) (2000): 28-33.

Metcalfe, M R. "State Legislation Regulating Animal Manure Management," Review of Agricultural Economics Fall-Winter 2000; 22(2): 519-32

Eco-labels and organic cotton

Nimon W. "Is Organic Cotton Production Just Too Risky?"

Nimon W, and J. Beghin. "Ecolabels and International Trade in the Textile and Apparel Market," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 81 (1999): 1078-84.

Nimon W., and J. Beghin. "Are Eco-Labels Valuable? Evidence from the Apparel Industry," American Journal of Agricultural Economics 81 (1999): 801-811.