Home Institution

Yale University

Publication Date

Fall 2009

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies, Organizations and Social Justice


This essay aims to reveal the complex landscape of the hindrances to development that developing countries themselves and developed nations’ agricultural subsidies pose. It discusses developing countries’ objectives and desires to see trade as a tool for development and then considers the potential for trade to contribute to development by examining how different international organizations use trade to aid developing countries. It examines China’s use of the green box as a case study of the potential that certain agricultural subsidies hold for development. Then, it looks at the limitations of trade as a means to make development progress, citing both agricultural subsidies and faulty development models. The essay lays out a brief structure of the different boxes of subsidies under the Agreement on Agriculture in the WTO with a focus on the green box and the complaints being mounted against its use by developed countries. It studies the effects of U.S. agricultural subsidies, both on the U.S. and developing countries, and it concludes by looking to the current political landscape of the Doha round and the U.S. to gain a sense of the prospects for agricultural subsidies. This essay seeks to show how both the agricultural subsidies of rich, developed countries and the domestic inadequacies of developing countries are to blame for the lack of development that we see in the world today.


Agricultural and Resource Economics


Article Location