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Campaign Contributions and Agricultural Subsidies

  • Rigoberto A. Lopez

This article examines the influence of campaign contributions on agricultural subsidies. Empirical results revealed that rent-seeking works, i.e. contributions, influence agricultural subsidies in the manner they best serve contributors' economic interests. Eliminating campaign contributions would significantly decrease agricultural subsidies, hurt farm groups, benefit consumers and taxpayers, and increase social welfare by approximately $5.5 billion. Although contributions are not the only determinants of agricultural subsidies, investment returns to farm PAC contributors are quite high ($1 in contributions brings about $2,000 in policy transfers). In fact, the results are in sharp contrast to the "truthful contributions" assumption of the Grossman-Helpman model. Copyright 2001 Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

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Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal Economics and Politics.

Volume (Year): 13 (2001)
Issue (Month): 3 (November)
Pages: 257-279

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Handle: RePEc:bla:ecopol:v:13:y:2001:i:3:p:257-279
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  1. Gene M. Grossman & Elhanan Helpman, 1992. "Protection For Sale," NBER Working Papers 4149, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Honma, Masayoshi & Hayami, Yujiro, 1986. "Structure of agricultural protection in industrial countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 115-129, February.
  4. Gardner, Bruce L, 1992. "Changing Economic Perspectives on the Farm Problem," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 62-101, March.
  5. Beghin, John C & Kherallah, Mylene, 1994. "Political Institutions and International Patterns of Agricultural Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 482-89, August.
  6. Mueller, Dennis C & Stratmann, Thomas, 1994. " Informative and Persuasive Campaigning," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 55-77, October.
  7. Esty, Daniel C & Caves, Richard E, 1983. "Market Structure and Political Influence: New Data on Political Expenditures, Activity, and Success," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 24-38, January.
  8. Lopez, Rigoberto A & Pagoulatos, Emilio, 1996. "Trade Protection and the Role of Campaign Contributions in U.S. Food and Tobacco Industries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 237-48, April.
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