National barriers to agricultural trade are often varied to insulate domestic markets from international price variability, especially following a sudden spike. This paper examines the extent of that behavior by governments using new annual estimates of agricultural price distortions in 75 countries. Responses to price spikes are shown to be equally substantial for agricultural-importing and agricultural-exporting countries, thereby weakening the domestic price-stabilizing effect of their interventions. Bringing discipline to export restrictions through new World Trade Organization rules could help alleviate the extent to which government responses to exogenous upward price spikes exacerbate those shocks.
|Publication status||Published - 2012|