1887

OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Papers

Selected studies on various food, agriculture and fisheries issues from the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate.

NB. No. 1 to No. 58 were released under the previous series title OECD Food, Agriculture and Fisheries Working Papers.

English

Evaluation of the relevance of border protection for agriculture in Switzerland

Switzerland’s overarching agricultural policy objectives reflect societal concerns about various production aspects of agriculture, such as environmental sustainability and animal welfare, and the expectation that agriculture will provide public goods demanded by society. Among the various policy instruments used by Switzerland to achieve these objectives, border protection represents a significant component of support. This study assesses the relevance of border protection for agriculture in Switzerland. It finds that border protection is not relevant for achieving the overarching objectives of Swiss agricultural policy, with one exception. By stimulating domestic production, high levels of border protection ensure that Switzerland meets its target rate of gross food production. But border protection is unlikely to deliver the other outcomes and public goods desired by Swiss society. This is because support provided through border protection is not conditional on delivery of the outcomes and public goods demanded by Swiss society, and is untargeted towards the activities, inputs and regions most strongly related to those outcomes and public goods. Moreover, border protection imposes significant costs on the Swiss economy. The study concludes by proposing alternative policies in place of border protection.

English

Keywords: Border protection, public goods, multifunctionality, Switzerland, METRO
JEL: Q18: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agricultural Policy; Food Policy; Q15: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Land Ownership and Tenure; Land Reform; Land Use; Irrigation; Agriculture and Environment; Q17: Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics / Agriculture / Agriculture in International Trade
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