Trade policy and health implication for Pacific island countries

Siope Vakataki Ofa, Azmat Gani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - The 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/approach - Using 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. Findings - The 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/value - While 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)816-830
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Social Economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Food
  • Gravity model
  • International trade
  • Non-communicable diseases
  • Pacific island countries
  • Pseudo Poisson maximum likelihood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics
  • General Social Sciences


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