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Impacts of a state trader on global wheat trade : a gravity model approach



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The purpose of this research was to empirically examine the impacts that the presence of a state trading enterprise (STE) has in the international wheat market. There are numerous types of STEs that function in different ways to achieve many different types of policy objectives which are often unique to a particular STE. Although the existence of a STE is justified by the countries involved using numerous policy rationales, the fear that they are used as a front for trade protectionism is a prevalent concern. One specific aspect of a STE that often brings this concern to the forefront is whether or not the STE has the exclusive privilege of monopoly status.The empirical objective of this thesis was to determine specifically if the use of a STE exporter has had a positive impact on world wheat trade over the 1970 – 2005 period and if the use of a STE importer has had a negative impact. In addition, the marginal impact of the STE having monopoly status was tested. In all cases, the designation of STEs and their monopoly status is based on WTO notification documentations. To secure econometrically robust results, a modified conventional gravity model was chosen. This model was estimated using pooled OLS and fixed effects, the latter consisting of both time and country pair fixed effects. The data that was constructed was a large panel data set of bilateral wheat trade spanning from 1970 to 2005. The model was also tested on a number of subsamples representing countries at different stages of development and in different income categories to isolate potential differences in STEs objectives and impacts.In virtually all models, the presence of a STE exporter had a strongly significant and positive effect on the value and volume of wheat exports from the country with the STE exporter. The fact that a STE had monopoly status did not have any additional impact on wheat trade. The impact of STE importers was insignificant.



state trading enterprise, international trade, gravity model, panel data



Master of Science (M.Sc.)


Agricultural Economics


Agricultural Economics


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