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Food Security and Preferential Trade Agreements

Kersten, Larissa C.S.K. (2018) Food Security and Preferential Trade Agreements. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Different disciplinary lenses condition the views on whether trade is generally seen as an opportunity for or threat to food security. Until now there is no consensus on the (empirical) impact in the literature. First, I analyse the impact of PTAs on food security across 93 low and middle income countries for 1990-2014. To take into account some of the multifaceted heterogeneity across PTAs, a distinction is made between Regional and Bilateral Trade Agreements (RTAs and BTAs, respectively) as these are designed differently in the light of food policy. Findings indicate that having a PTA in force, in contrast to having none, is associated with better food security outcomes. However, an increase in the number of BTAs, which are more competitive, is negatively, and an increase in the number of RTAs, which are more cooperative, is positively associated with food security outcomes in low and middle income countries. Second, I look into how RTAs and food security are associated across the three sub-regions of Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America and South East Asia. To take into account heterogeneity across the RTAs I operationalise provisions on food security and related provisions in the agreement texts. I first test the impact of the aggregate provisions on food security for 67 low and middle income countries which are member of at least one of the RTAs in the three sub-regions, 1990-2014. Results indicate that the more food security related provisions a country has across its RTAs, the better it is a for food security outcomes. Then I test whether the state of food security affects the design of a RTA. Estimates indicate that the more severe the state of food insecurity within a country, the more food security related provisions the country has across its RTAs. In conclusion, RTAs are potentially an opportunity for food security - and the more food security and related concepts are addressed in the agreement text, the greater the opportunity. In contrast, BTAs are potentially a threat to food security.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Uncontrolled Keywords: food security / preferential trade agreements / impact assessment / low and middle income countries / trade policy / design of trade agreements
Subjects: J Political Science > JZ International relations
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Government, Department of
Depositing User: Larissa Kersten
Date Deposited: 17 Aug 2018 12:12
Last Modified: 17 Aug 2018 12:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22837

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