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Consumer Demand and Cost Factors Shape the Global Trade Network in Commodity and Manufactured Foods

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Abstract:

Multiple forces operate throughout the global economy and influence the direction, composition, and volume of agri-food trade. The fundamental determinants that impede and foster bilateral trade in two food types, namely staple commodities and manufactured products, are identified using generalized gravity equations. Empirical evidence verified the importance of relative resource endowments and similarities in the structure of partner demand. Other socio-geo-political factors were also found to influence food trade, including the ability of governments to control corruption and curtail disequilibrium in financial markets.

L'économie mondiale est soumise à des forces multiples qui influencent l'orientation, la composition et le volume du commerce agroalimentaire. Les principaux facteurs qui entravent et favorisent le commerce bilatéral de deux types d'aliments, à savoir les matières de base et les produits manufacturés, ont été déterminés à l'aide d'équations de gravité généralisées. L'évidence empirique a vérifié l'importance des dotations relatives en ressources et des similarités dans la structure de la demande d'un partenaire commercial. D'autres facteurs sociaux et géopolitiques, y compris la capacité des gouvernements à combattre la corruption et à réduire le déséquilibre sur les marchés des capitaux, influenceraient aussi le commerce alimentaire.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1744-7976.2006.00063.x

Affiliations: 1: Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, 1800 M. Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (phone: 202-694-5241; )., Fax: 202-694-5793, Email: THOMASV@ers.usda.gov 2: Mathematician, Economic Research Service, USDA, 1800 M. Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (phone: 202-694-5051; )., Fax: 202-694-5718, Email: HALLAHAN@crs.usda.gov 3: Economist, Economic Research Service, USDA, 1800 M. Street N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036 (phone: 202-694-5232; )., Fax: 202-694-5793, Email: MGEHLHAR@ers.usda.gov

Publication date: December 1, 2006

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