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Institutional Foundation Of Agricultural Protection: The Case Of Eu-Accession And Agricultural Policy In Eastern European Countries

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  • Henning, Christian H.C.A.
  • Krause, Kim Carolin
  • Struve, Carsten
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    Abstract

    The literature on political economy analyses of agricultural protection mainly focus on the impact of economic and demographic structures on the level of agricultural protection (Tyers/Anderson 1992, Swinnen 1994, Rausser et al. 1974), although it is commonly accepted that beyond economic and demographic structures political institutions do have an impact on the political power of different interest groups and hence on agricultural policy output (Gardner 1987 as well as Binswanger et al. 1997). The impact of political institutions, e.g. the organization of legislature, election and party systems, on agricultural protection has hardly been taken into account explicitly in theoretical and empirical studies, yet. In this framework the paper investigates to what extent political institutions explain observed variances in the political power of the agrarian population in the ten Central and Eastern European Countries/Candidates (CEEC) applying for an accession of the EU. Moreover, it is analyzed to what extent EU-accession will be politically feasible given the specific political and economic framework conditions of the individual states. In particular, empirical analyses imply the following results: (i) the political power of the agrarian population varies significantly among the analyzed countries ranging from a relative low political weight of 0.115 of the agrarian population in Lativa up to an absolute political dominance of the agrarian population in Slovenia given a weight of 0.887. (ii) The political weights are significantly determined by political institutions. In particular, the more the election systems corresponds to a proportional representation and the more the parliamentary organization allows for a specialized representation of agrarian interests, e.g. bicameralism where a second chamber representing regional interests, and the more efficient the organization of agrarian interests, e.g. existence of a peasent party, the higher is the political weight of the agrarian population. (iii) Analyzing to what extent EU-accession is politically feasible in the CEEC-states we can show that, assuming national financing of EU-policy, EU-accession would be hardly politically feasible in any CEEC-countries. An exception might be seen in Slovenia. Thus political feasibility of EU-accession crucially depends on keeping the rule of financial solidarity. Moreover, assuming a comprehensive pre-accession CAP-reform will take place, possible options to achieve political feasibility in the CEEC-states under these conditions would be undertaking constitutional reforms. In particular, the implementation of electorate system corresponding closer to a proportional representation or the establishment of bicameralism would be, at least theoretically, possible options.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association) in its series 2002 Annual meeting, July 28-31, Long Beach, CA with number 19739.

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    Date of creation: 2002
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    Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea02:19739

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    Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy;

    References

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    1. Swinnen, Johan F.M., 1991. "A Positive Theory Of Agricultural Protection," Working Papers 6851, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
    2. Becker, Gary S, 1983. "A Theory of Competition among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400, August.
    3. Hans P. Binswanger & Klaus Deininger, 1997. "Explaining Agricultural and Agrarian Policies in Developing Countries," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(4), pages 1958-2005, December.
    4. Rausser, Gordon C & Freebairn, John W, 1974. "Estimation of Policy Preference Functions: An Application to U.S. Beef Import Quotas," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 56(4), pages 437-49, November.
    5. Miller, Tracy C., 1991. "Agricultural price policies and political interest group competition," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 13(4), pages 489-513.
    6. Wittman, Donald, 1989. "Why Democracies Produce Efficient Results," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 97(6), pages 1395-1424, December.
    7. Gary J. Miller, 1997. "The Impact of Economics on Contemporary Political Science," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 35(3), pages 1173-1204, September.
    8. Swinnen, Jo & van der Zee, Frans A, 1993. "The Political Economy of Agricultural Policies: A Survey," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 20(3), pages 261-90.
    9. de Janvry, Alain & Fargeix, Andre & Sadoulet, Elisabeth, 1991. "Political economy of stabilization programs: Feasibility, growth, and welfare," Journal of Policy Modeling, Elsevier, vol. 13(3), pages 317-345.
    10. Gardner, Bruce L, 1987. "Causes of U.S. Farm Commodity Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 290-310, April.
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    Cited by:
    1. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina, 2008. "Consitutional Rules and Agricultural Policy Outcomes," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43870, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

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