The National Economic Benefits of Food Imports: The Case of U.S. Imports of Hass Avocados From Mexico Academic Article uri icon


  • 2017 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Imports of food products are often seen primarily as a threat to domestic producers while the broader economic impacts are ignored. Research on rapidly growing U.S. avocado imports has focused on the consequences for the U.S. avocado industry. This study conducts an economic impact analysis to measure the level and industry distribution of any benefits of U.S. imports of avocados from Mexico that may accrue to the U.S. national economy. We find that the US$1.5 billion in U.S. imports of Mexican avocados in 2015 had a positive and statistically significant effect on the U.S. economy in that year. Every dollar of avocado imports from Mexico in 2015 generated US$2.31 in U.S. output, US$1.41 in U.S. GDP, and US$0.79 in U.S. labor income. About 12.3 jobs were generated per US$1 million of imports. A separate econometric analysis corroborates the result. We conclude that imports of Mexican avocados are pro-growth for the U.S. economy.

published proceedings

  • Journal of International Food & Agribusiness Marketing

author list (cited authors)

  • Williams, G. W., Capps, O., & Hanselka, D.

citation count

  • 8

complete list of authors

  • Williams, Gary W||Capps, Oral||Hanselka, Daniel

publication date

  • April 2017