Can Trade Policies Soften the Economic Impacts of an Avian Influenza Outbreak? Simulations From a CGE Model of the Philippines

The paper examines the possibilities of using trade policy to address the adverse economic effects of an avian influenza outbreak in the Philippines. In particular, it employs a computable general equilibrium (CGE) model for analyzing the likely effects of two options; namely, a) a ban on imported poultry, and b) the removal of tariffs on non-poultry meat products. Using six model scenarios (i.e., production shocks, consumption shocks, ban on poultry imports, removal of tariff on non-poultry imports, and selected combinations of these shocks), the simulation results reveal that (a) the consumption and production shocks are expected to have a contractionary effect on real GDP; (b) the expected fall in the output of poultry products explains most of the decline in real GDP; (c) the production shock appears to have a larger impact since this explains most of the decline in real GDP as well as the increase in the general price level; (d) while the consumption shock tends to have a larger impact on the poultry products, the production shock dominates the aggregate responses because of its effects on other industries, and (e) avian influenza is likely to have far-reaching effects on the economy, way beyond the poultry sector. Based on these results, this paper supports the use of an import ban as a preventive measure against the occurrence of an avian influenza attack. This is based on the finding that the economic costs from such a measure appear to be lower than the costs associated with the disease. In contrast, the study finds that there is a weak case for removing tariffs on non-poultry meat products as a means to soften the harmful impacts of an avian influenza outbreak.

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Journal Article
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Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Volume 04, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-28

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