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Agricultural Support Policies in Imperfectly Competitive Markets: Why Market Power Matters in Policy Design


  • Carlo Russo
  • Rachael E. Goodhue
  • Richard J. Sexton


Most agricultural policy analysis assumes that markets are perfectly competitive, despite increasing evidence to the contrary. We demonstrate that the interaction of market power and government intervention may lead to outcomes that are counter to key results of policy analysis for perfectly competitive markets. We show that market power may reduce or eliminate entirely the net welfare benefits from removing two traditional support mechanisms, price floors and deficiency payments, and may increase considerably the government's cost of implementing either of them. Accordingly, optimally designed price support measures may improve welfare in the presence of downstream oligopoly and/or oligopsony power. Copyright 2011, Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Carlo Russo & Rachael E. Goodhue & Richard J. Sexton, 2011. "Agricultural Support Policies in Imperfectly Competitive Markets: Why Market Power Matters in Policy Design," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(5), pages 1328-1340.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:ajagec:v:93:y:2011:i:5:p:1328-1340

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    Cited by:

    1. Poe, Abby & Coatney, Kalyn & Coble, Keith & Freeman, Matt, 2014. "Farm Subsidy Incidence in the Presence of Bertrand Competitors of Complementary Factors of Production: A Theoretical Approach," 2014 Annual Meeting, February 1-4, 2014, Dallas, Texas 162507, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
    2. repec:spr:agfoec:v:5:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40100-017-0084-y is not listed on IDEAS
    3. McCorriston, Steve & MacLaren, Donald, 2016. "Parastatals as instruments of government policy: The Food Corporation of India," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 65(C), pages 53-62.

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