Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture

Quarterly Journal of International Agriculture No. 3/09

How much food aid is enough?
Insights for WTO rulemaking

Ryan Cardwell
University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada

William A. Kerr
University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada


Discipline on food aid has become a contentious international trade issue. Some WTO members worry that food aid can circumvent the elimination of export subsidies. A major shift in focus is required to find a solution that is in the best interest of both potential recipient and donor countries. A dynamic optimal control model is developed and used to simulate the delivery of food aid under a number of potential WTO disciplines. The results indicate that some levels of food aid produce adverse effects and determining an optimal quantity of food aid in trade agreements presents a considerable challenge.

Keywords: agriculture, developing countries, food aid, WTO

JEL: O13, Q17, Q18

Vol. 48 (2009), No. 3: 193-218