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Explaining Price Policy Bias in Agriculture: The Calculus of Support-Maximizing Politicians


  • Harry de Gorter
  • Yacov Tsur


A model is developed to explain observed patterns of policy intervention in agriculture. We analyze the interaction between political support-seeking politicians and support-supplying citizens. Society consists of a rural and urban group. We determine the effects on transfers of relative group size, disparities in income endowments between groups, and the deadweight loss of redistribution. The framework advanced is an alternative to that of the interest group model and is used to explain, for example, why the export sectors in developing countries are taxed more and why the United Kingdom is less adamant for higher price supports than Germany.

Suggested Citation

  • Harry de Gorter & Yacov Tsur, 1991. "Explaining Price Policy Bias in Agriculture: The Calculus of Support-Maximizing Politicians," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 73(4), pages 1244-1254.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:73:y:1991:i:4:p:1244-1254.

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    Cited by:

    1. Thornsbury, Suzanne, 1999. "Political Economy Determinants Of Technical Barriers To U.S. Agricultural Exports," 1999 Annual meeting, August 8-11, Nashville, TN 21499, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
    2. Mockshell, Jonathan & Birner, Regina, 2015. "Donors and domestic policy makers: Two worlds in agricultural policy-making?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 1-14.
    3. Swinnen, Johan F. M. & Banerjee, Anurag N. & Gorter, Harry de, 2001. "Economic development, institutional change, and the political economy of agricultural protection: An econometric study of Belgium since the 19th century," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 26(1), pages 25-43, October.
    4. Mon‐Chi Lio & Jin‐Li Hu, 2009. "Governance and Agricultural Production Efficiency: A Cross‐Country Aggregate Frontier Analysis," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(1), pages 40-61, February.
    5. Tsur, Yacov & Dinar, Ariel, 1996. "On the Relative Efficiency of Alternative Methods for Pricing Irrigation Water and their Implementation," Working Papers 232800, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Center for Agricultural Economic Research.
    6. Coggins, Jay S., 1994. "Implementing Agricultural Policy Virtually: The Case of Set-Aside," Staff Papers 200579, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics.
    7. Andrea Guariso & Mara P. Squicciarini & Johan Swinnen, 2014. "Food Price Shocks and the Political Economy of Global Agricultural and Development Policy," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 36(3), pages 387-415.
    8. Eva Fernández, 2008. "El fracaso del lobby viticultor en España frente al objetivo industrializador del Estado, 1920-1936," Historia Agraria. Revista de Agricultura e Historia Rural, Sociedad Española de Historia Agraria, issue 45, pages 113-141, august.
    9. Roberta Sardone & Valentina Cardinale & Crescenzo Dell’aquila & Paola Doria & Roberto Solazzo & Alfredo Manuel de Jesus Oliveira Coelho & Etienne Montaigne & Vasco Boatto & Andrea Dal Bianco & Luigi G, 2012. "The liberalisation of planting rights in the EU wine sector," Working Papers hal-01499067, HAL.
    10. Mockshell, Jonathan & Birner, Regina, 2016. "Agricultural development policy debates: who has the better story?," 2016 Fifth International Conference, September 23-26, 2016, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 249284, African Association of Agricultural Economists (AAAE).
    11. Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2009. "The Growth of Agricultural Protection in Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(11), pages 1499-1537, November.
    12. Hansen, H. & Harsche, J., 2006. "Die Förderung landwirtschaftlicher Erzeugnisse durch die Europäische Agrarpolitik Regionale Auswirkungen in Deutschland und Bestimmungsgründe," Proceedings “Schriften der Gesellschaft für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaues e.V.”, German Association of Agricultural Economists (GEWISOLA), vol. 41, March.
    13. Nizamettin Bayyurt & Fatma Eban Arıkan, 2015. "Good Governance and Agricultural Efficiency," Journal of Social and Development Sciences, AMH International, vol. 6(1), pages 14-23.
    14. Long Andrew G. & Kastner Justin J. & Kassatly Raymond, 2013. "Is Food Security a New Tariff? Explaining Changes in Sanitary and Phytosanitary Regulations by World Trade Organization Members," Global Economy Journal, De Gruyter, vol. 13(1), pages 25-46, January.
    15. Mockshell, J. & Birner, R., 2018. "The dichotomy between state- and market-oriented agricultural development narratives: Beyond the rational choice explanation?," 2018 Conference, July 28-August 2, 2018, Vancouver, British Columbia 277272, International Association of Agricultural Economists.
    16. Crommelynck, Anja & Kola, Jukka & Swinnen, Johan F.M., 1998. "Determinants Of Agricultural Protection In Finland (1931-1990)," PRG Working Papers 31878, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.

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