GTAP: A Tool for Analyzing Agricultural Trade

Thomas W. Hertel

Published: 01.04.2000  〉 Heft 3-4/2000  〉 Resort: Articles 
Submitted: N. A.   〉 Feedback to authors after first review: N. A.   〉 Accepted: N. A.


In summary, this paper has sought to provide both an overview of the Global Trade Analysis Project, as well as some specific insights into its use in the analysis of agricultural trade. It is increasingly clear that no single institution can afford to maintain its own a framework for global economic analysis. The data and modelling requirements are simply too large, and the public-good nature of these products offer a compelling argument for international collaboration. By providing neutral ground on which national and international agencies can gather to pursue their common interest in high quality global economic analysis, GTAP helps to solve this important institutional challenge. With a diversified funding base, coupled with clear direction on priorities from the advisory board, the Project's long run viability and policy relevance are insured. The GTAP framework is currently being used to analyze a wide-range of global economic issues - particularly those related to trade policy and environmental issues. However, it also offers a useful framework for projecting likely changes in agricultural trade. By incorporating the fundamental drivers of change on both the demand and supply-sides, as well as incorporating potential changes in international transport costs and trade policies, this framework offers a unique opportunity for integrated analysis of changing patterns of international trade. As was demonstrated in an analysis of China's livestock trade, the economy-wide forces can be as important as the sector-specific factors. Future research aimed at model validation, parameter estimation and improvement of the projection methodologies promise to have a high payoff.

THOMAS W. HERTEL, of the Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University, W. Lafayette, IN 47907-1145, email: hertel@agecon.purdue. edu, web site: http//:www.
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