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Economic policy for rural and regional Australia

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  • John Freebairn

Abstract

The efficiency and equity effects of economic policies affecting the quarter of Australians who live in rural and regional Australia (RARA) are reviewed. For the most part it is argued that economy‐wide policies, rather than region or industry specific policies, are appropriate. Progressive income taxation, means‐tested social security payments and government funded education, health and other services directly and efficiently redistribute to support equity. Subsidies for particular industries in RARA, such as dairy, and input subsidies targeted at RARA, such as community service obligations, misallocate resources and are ineffective in meeting equity goals. Better property rights and procedures for allocating most natural resources, especially water, are necessary.

Suggested Citation

  • John Freebairn, 2003. "Economic policy for rural and regional Australia," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(3), pages 389-414, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:ajarec:v:47:y:2003:i:3:p:389-414
    DOI: 10.1111/1467-8489.00220
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    15. Edwards, Geoff W., 2003. "The story of deregulation in the dairy industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(1), pages 1-24.
    16. Geoff Edwards, 2003. "The story of deregulation in the dairy industry," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(1), pages 75-98, March.
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    1. Bennett, Jeffrey W. & van Bueren, Martin & Whitten, Stuart M., 2004. "Estimating society's willingness to pay to maintain viable rural communities," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 48(3), pages 1-26.
    2. Hicks, J & Basu, P K & Latham, H & Tyson, G & Daniel, M & Sappey, R B, 2010. "Crossing the Great Divide: a Case Study of a Regional Nursing Labour Market in the Central West of New South Wales," Australian Bulletin of Labour, National Institute of Labour Studies, vol. 36(1), pages 84-102.
    3. Phillip Hone & Iain Fraser, 2004. "Resource Management and Duty of Care," Agenda - A Journal of Policy Analysis and Reform, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics, vol. 11(3), pages 195-209.
    4. Bill Pritchard & Matthew Tonts, 2011. "Market Efficiency, Agriculture and Prosperity in Rural Australia," Chapters, in: Matthew Tonts & M. A.B. Siddique (ed.), Globalisation, Agriculture and Development, chapter 3, Edward Elgar Publishing.

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