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harry degorter

Harry de Gorter


Areas of Expertise

Applied Welfare Economics, Domestic and Trade Policy, Renewable Energy, International Trade Negotiations, Political Economy, Public Goods and the Environment

Contact Information

B32 Warren Hall • Phone: 607.255.8076

Harry de Gorter teaches and conducts research on the applied welfare economics and political economy of agricultural trade policy. Much of his recent work has been on biofuels and agricultural trade reform and the Doha Development Agenda, especially the impact of subsidies and protection on developing countries. His research is both theoretical and empirical with direct policy implications for governments, international institutions, and non-governmental organizations.  

Prior to Cornell, he was on faculty at the University of Guelph Ontario and worked for the International Trade Policy Division of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Ottawa. He has long been actively involved in advising many governments and international organizations on issues related to agriculture trade policy and renewable energy including the World Bank, OECD, IMF, WTO, UNCTAD Geneva, Inter-American Development Bank, UN-FAO Rome, California Air Resources Board, EU Commission; USAID; Government of Canada; UNICA Sao Paulo; ICONE Sao Paulo; Cato Institute, UNIGRAINS Paris, Kraft Foods International, ICTSD Geneva and the Swedish International Development Agency.

Harry de Gorter has published over 100 scholarly articles and book chapters, including in the International Library of Critical Writings in Economics, Handbook of Economics, and Princeton Encyclopedia of the World Economy. In 2011, he won the Quality of Communication Award of the American Applied Economics Association (also won the same award with a chapter in a book 1991, 2006), Honorable Mention for the Outstanding Journal Article in the American Journal of Agricultural Economics in 2008 and the Outstanding Journal Article in the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics in 1993.

Since early 2007, his research program has included the social costs and benefits of biofuel policies, including implications for the environment. Other recent research focuses on WTO disciplines in agriculture, alternative agricultural import barriers, domestic subsidy programs and export subsidies, implication of preferential tariffs and quotas for least developed countries, the economics of WTO trade disputes, and the impact of trade liberalization. Recent papers include the welfare economics of biofuel policies, effects of liberalizing tariff rate import quotas and administration methods, the economics of decoupled payments, the effects of EU and U.S. farm policy, how state trading enterprises subsidize exports and limit imports, and the interaction between the environment, technological change, and trade. His research in the area of political economy includes the politics of trade negotiations and rent seeking, the factors affecting price policy bias in world agriculture, and the interaction between commodity policy and public goods in agriculture.


B.Sc., University of Guelph, 1975
M.Sc., University of Guelph, 1977
Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley, 1983


AEM 4310: Agricultural and Food Policy
AEM 4350: The Political Economy of the WTO
AEM 6300: Policy Analysis: Welfare Theory, Agriculture and Trade
AEM 6300: Economics of Biofuels: Implications for the Nexus of Agricultural, Energy, and Environmental Policies
AEM 7020: Applied Microeconomics II (AEM Ph.D. core course, 5 weeks or 1/3 of the class)

Selected Publications

“The Social Costs and Benefits of Biofuel Policies with Pre-Existing Distortions.”(2011). Chapter 10 in U.S. Energy Tax Policy, Gilbert Metcalf, editor, Cambridge University Press. (with D.R. Just).

“Analyzing the System of Preferential Tariffs for Least Developed Countries.”(2011). Review of International Economics vol. 19, issue 3, pages 436-448 (with A. Green).

"Biofuel Policies and Carbon Leakage". (2011). AgBioForum Vol. 14, No 3, p. 104-110. (with D. Drabik).

“The Economics of a Blender’s Tax Credit versus a Tax Exemption: The Case of U.S. ‘Splash & Dash’ Biodiesel Exports to the European Union.”(2011). Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Vol. 33 (4): 510-527. (with D. Drabik).

“Ethanol and Corn Prices: the Role of U.S. Tax Credits, Mandates and Import Tariffs.”(2010). Chapter 9 in Ball, V. Eldon; Fanfani, Roberto; Gutierrez, Luciano (Eds.) The Economic Impact of Public Support to Agriculture: An International Perspective Series: Studies in Productivity and Efficiency, Vol. 7, Springer.

“Cost-Benefit Tests for GHG Emissions from Biofuel Production.”(2010). European Review of Agricultural Economics. Vol. 37(2):133-145; June. (with Yacov Tsur).

“The Social Costs and Benefits of Biofuels: The Intersection of Environmental, Energy and Agricultural Policy.”(2010). Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy Vol. 32, Number 1:4-32. (with D. R. Just). Paper Link

“The Economics of a Biofuel Mandate”American Journal of Agricultural Economics. (2009). Vol. 91: No. 3, August, pages 738-750. (with D. R. Just).

“Integrating Developing Country Agriculture into Global Climate Change Mitigation Efforts.” (November 2009) in Policies for Minimizing Distortionary Effects of Support to Agriculture, edited by Aziz Elbehri and Alexander Sarris, Trade and Markets Division, Food and Agriculture Organization, Rome.

“The Welfare Economics of a Biofuel Tax Credit and the Interaction Effects with Price Contingent Farm Subsidies.”(2009). American Journal of Agricultural Economics. May Vol. 91, No. 2: 477-478. (with D. R. Just).

"The Economics of the U.S. Ethanol Import Tariff with a Blend Mandate and Tax Credit." Journal of Agricultural & Food Industrial Organization: Vol. 6 : Issue. 2, Article 6. 2008. (with D. R. Just).

“’Water’ in the U.S. Ethanol Tax Credit and Mandate: Implications for Rectangular Deadweight Costs and the Corn-Oil Price Relationship”, Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy. Volume 30, Number 3, Fall: 397-410. (with D. R. Just).

“Cross-subsidization Due to Infra-Marginal Support in Agriculture: A General Theory and Empirical Evidence”(2008). American Journal of Agricultural Economics, February. Vol. 90 Issue 1 Pages 42 54 (with D. R. Just and J. D. Kropp).

“The Economics of Administering Import Quotas with Licenses-on-Demand in Agriculture”, American Journal of Agricultural Economics, 88(2) May 2006: 3318-350 (with J. Hranaiova and J. Falk).

“Environmental policies for a multifunctional agricultural sector in open economies”, European Review of Agricultural Economics 2002 Vol. 29 (4) pp. 423-443 (with J. Peterson and R. Boisvert)

“On Government Credibility, Compensation, and Underinvestment in Public Research”, European Review of Agricultural Economics 2002 Vol. 29 (4) pp. 501-522 (with J. Swinnen).

“Endogenous Commodity Policy and the Social Benefits from Public Research Expenditures,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 80 (1998): 107-115 (with J. Swinnen).

“The International Effects of Farm Subsidies in the United States,”American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 74 (1992): 258-267 (with E. Fisher).

“Productive and Predatory Public Policies: Research Expenditures and Producer Subsidies in Agriculture,”American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 74 (1992): 27-37 (with D. Nielson and G. Rausser).

“Explaining Price Policy Bias in Agriculture: The Calculus of Support Maximizing Politicians,” American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Vol. 73 (1991): 1244-1254 (with Y. Tsur).