PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of trade policy pertaining to imported processed food on poorer health outcomes of people’s in the Pacific island countries.Design/methodology/approachUsing an extended gravity model, the paper adopts the OLS time varying importer/exporter effects method and a Pseudo Poisson maximum likelihood estimator on a cross-sectional panel data set of 215 countries and territories. The estimation procedure controlled for 11 Pacific island countries between 2003 and 2013.FindingsThe empirical findings revealed a positive and statistically significant relationship between trade liberalisation and increased processed food imports in the Pacific island countries. The findings also reveal that the access ratio (kg/person) to selected imported processed food high in salt to Pacific island countries has increased significantly over time.Originality/valueWhile much of the trade literature reveals positive impact of trade on the prosperity of nations, this study makes a new contribution in terms of supporting a negative impact of trade liberalisation policy on people’s health in small island developing states.
International Journal of Social Economics – Emerald Publishing
Published: Jun 12, 2017