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Review of Middle East Economics and Finance

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Analysis of Food Imports in a Highly Import Dependent Economy

Simeon Kaitibie
  • Corresponding author
  • Department of Finance and Economics, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
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/ Munshi Masudul Haq
  • Department of Finance and Economics, College of Business and Economics, Qatar University, P.O. Box 2713, Doha, Qatar
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/ Manitra A. Rakotoarisoa
  • Trade and Markets Division Economic and Social Development Department, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations Room D-835 Viale delle Terme di Caracalla-00153, Rome, Italy
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Published Online: 2017-09-13 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rmeef-2016-0033


This analysis of food imports used an enhanced gravity model of trade, with food imports from approximately 136 countries from 2004 to 2014. Using improved panel data techniques, we show that total income, inflation in the food exporting country, corruption perception in the food exporting country, trade openness in the food exporting economy, GCC membership are important determinants of food imports by Qatar. In addition, we show that Qatari food imports mostly originate in countries with, on average, similar economic sizes. Finally, Qatar’s factor endowment is dissimilar to those of most of its trading partners, a situation that potentially fosters international food trade in accordance with the Heckscher–Ohlin theory of trade.

Keywords: determinants of trade; food imports; gravity model; food security; Qatar

JEL Classification: F14; Q18; O5


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Published Online: 2017-09-13

Citation Information: Review of Middle East Economics and Finance, Volume 13, Issue 2, 20160033, ISSN (Online) 1475-3693, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/rmeef-2016-0033.

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