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Public Choice Theory And Australian Agricultural Policy Reform

  • William J. Martin

Recent discussion of the process of policy reform has tended to focus on public and private interest theories of public choice as alternative models. The analysis of Australian agricultural policy presented in this paper draws on several extensions of the private interest model including the contractarian framework, extra-rational considerations such as moral attitudes and the desire to participate. Recent agricultural policy reforms in Australia are examined in the light of those theories. This examination highlights the importance of ideas and changes in the rules for policy formulation in influencing policy outcomes. In some cases the private interest theory appears to offer an adequate explanation while, in others, it provides only a partial explanation of policy change, and requires extension if policy choice is to be influenced, or even understood. An important independent role for economists and policy makers is seen both in the formulation of policies and in the design of rules for policy choice.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1111/j.1467-8489.1990.tb00495.x
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Article provided by Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society in its journal Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

Volume (Year): 34 (1990)
Issue (Month): 3 (December)
Pages: 189-211

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:34:y:1990:i:3:p:189-211
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  1. Theodore Keeler, 1984. "Theories of regulation and the deregulation movement," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 103-145, January.
  2. Ian R. Harper, 1986. "Why Financial Deregulation?," Australian Economic Review, The University of Melbourne, Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic and Social Research, vol. 19(1), pages 37-49.
  3. Lloyd, Peter J., 1975. "Tariff Compensation: An Undesirable Policy," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 19(03), December.
  4. Peltzman, Sam, 1984. "Constituent Interest and Congressional Voting," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 27(1), pages 181-210, April.
  5. Quiggin, John, 1987. "Egoistic Rationality and Public Choice: A Critical Review of Theory and Evidence," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(180), pages 10-21, March.
  6. Winters, L Alan, 1987. "Negotiating the Abolition of Non-tariff Barriers," Oxford Economic Papers, Oxford University Press, vol. 39(3), pages 465-80, September.
  7. Harris, Stuart, 1975. "Tariff Compensation: Sufficient Justification For Assistance To Australian Agriculture?," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 19(03), December.
  8. 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.
  9. Warr, Peter G., 1978. "The Case Against Tariff Compensation," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 22(02-03).
  10. Anderson, Kym, 1980. "The Political Market for Government Assistance to Australian Manufacturing Industries," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 56(153), pages 132-44, June.
  11. Kym Anderson, 1978. "On Why Rates Of Assistance Differ Between Australia'S Rural Industries," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 22(2-3), pages 99-114, 08-12.
  12. Brennan, Geoffrey & Pincus, Jonathan, 1987. "Rational Actor Theory in Politics: A Critical Review of John Quiggin," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 63(180), pages 22-32, March.
  13. Corden, W M, 1989. "Australian Macroeconomic Policy Experience," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 65(189), pages 152-64, June.
  14. Martin, Will, 1989. "Australian Agricultural Policy: 1983-88," 1989 Conference (33rd), February 7-9, 1989, Christchurch, New Zealand 144754, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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