University of Adelaide Economics researcher, Professor Kym Anderson has recently published a paper that tracks increases in global welfare. From a press release:

World Bank researcher finds that agricultural reform in developing countries increased global welfare by $233 billion per year

MILWAUKEE – Agricultural price and trade policy reforms initiated in partial response to a landmark World Bank study have improved global economic welfare dramatically, especially in developing countries, according to Kym Anderson of the University of Adelaide, Australia. A selection of Anderson’s findings, from a study he directed while at the World Bank, appears in the latest edition of the journal Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy (AEPP).

A seminal study of distortions to agricultural incentives in 18 developing countries from 1960-84, published in 1988 by Krueger, Schiff and Valdés, revealed that policies in many developing countries were directly or indirectly harming their farmers. Such policies include agricultural export taxes, manufacturing protection, or multiple exchange rates. Since the mid-1980s, however, there has been a substantial amount of economic policy reform, market liberalization, and poltical and social change.

The full text of this article, “Krueger/Schiff/Valdés Revisited: Agricultural Price and Trade Policy Reform in Developing Countries since 1960”, can be obtained via the World Bank website.

Centre for International Economic Studies (CIES) Working Paper (#1004, Feb 2010)