Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Explaining agricultural and agrarian policies in developing countries

Contents:

Author Info

  • Binswanger, Hans P.
  • Deininger, Klaus

Abstract

Political outcomes - such as agricultural taxation, subsidization, and the provision of public goods - result from political bargaining among interest groups. Such bargaining is likely to be efficiency-enhancing and growth-enhancing when equally powerful interest groups - aware of the economywide budget constraint and know the economic implications of different policy options - participate, and when impartial institutions are available to enforce decisions. The greater the deviation from these conditions, the greater the potential for efficiency-reducing outcomes, the costs of which will generally fall disproportionately on politically underrepresented or powerless groups. Material conditions of agriculture production - such as spatial dispersion, seasonal work cycles, covariance of risk, and the associated market imperfections - exacerbate the difficulties faced by small producers to engage in collective action. So, despite being generally the economically most efficient form of production, family farmers'ability to counteract the political influence of rural elites and urban dwellers is extremely limited. Lack of independent institutions and clearly defined property rights - and the presence of organizational residues - not only reduce peasants'bargaining power but may also make it more profitable for powerful groups to prefer rent seeking to productive activities. How can these undesirable outcomes be avoided, and how can sustainable policy changes be initiated? Experience indicates that fiscal crises of the state, often triggered or aggravated by an external shock, can cause lasting changes of policies and institutions. By forcing the state to devolve some of its power in exchange for financial assistance to meet its immediate needs, such a crisis can give rise to the emergence of independent legal, political, and economic institutions that are maintained even once the crisis has subsided, External actors that provide resources in terms of crisis and at the same time enhance the scope for politically least vocal parts of civil society to participate in political discourse can have a significant impact on changing policy. The paper discusses in detail the implications for research as well as for policy advice.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/servlet/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/1997/05/01/000009265_3971126124251/Rendered/PDF/multi_page.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 1765.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 31 May 1997
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1765

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 1818 H Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20433
Phone: (202) 477-1234
Email:
Web page: http://www.worldbank.org/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: Labor Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems; Banks&Banking Reform; Environmental Economics&Policies; Environmental Economics&Policies; Economic Theory&Research; Banks&Banking Reform; Agricultural Knowledge&Information Systems; Health Economics&Finance;

Other versions of this item:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:1765. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.