Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China
Tariffs on agricultural products fell sharply in China both prior to, and as a consequence of, China's accession to the WTO. The paper examines the nature of agricultural trade reform in China since 1981, and finds that protection was quite strongly negative for most commodities, and particularly for exported goods, at the beginning of the reforms. Since then, the taxation of agriculture has declined sharply, with the abolition of production quotas and procurement pricing, and reductions in trade distortions for both imported and exported goods. Rural well-being has improved partly because of these reforms, and also because of strengthening of markets, public investment in infrastructure, research and development, health and education, and reductions in barriers to mobility of labor out of agriculture. Many challenges remain in improving rural incomes and reducing rural poverty.
The views expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Agricultural Trade Reform and Rural Prosperity: Lessons from China, Jikun Huang, Yu Liu, Will Martin, Scott Rozelle. in China's Growing Role in World Trade, Feenstra and Wei. 2010