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Farm price and income policy: lessons from history

  • Luther Tweeten

    (Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Room 235 Ag Admin, Ohio State University, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210)

  • Carl Zulauf

    (Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics, Room 235 Ag Admin, Ohio State University, 2120 Fyffe Road, Columbus, OH 43210)

Registered author(s):

    U.S. farm commodity support programs encompass nearly three quarters of a century and three quarters of a trillion taxpayer dollars. One dividend from that effort is to learn lessons. Farm commodity programs have steadfastly maintained a primary objective of supporting the incomes of a relatively few producers of a relatively few commodities. Nonetheless, farm programs have not been static but have adapted to changing economic and political parameters. Changes in agricultural policy tend to coincide with extremes in the food supply-demand balance. Farm program income transfers leak from their intended beneficiaries to other asset owners. Economic rents, once institutionalized, retain political momentum that sustains the rents. The rise of pressure from the World Trade Organization to provide only non-market-distorting payments may challenge the continued viability of these lessons; however, the lessons also caution against discounting the extant political influence of the farm lobby. [EconLit N500, Q180]. © 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/agr.20153
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    Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Agribusiness.

    Volume (Year): 24 (2008)
    Issue (Month): 2 ()
    Pages: 145-160

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    Handle: RePEc:wly:agribz:v:24:y:2008:i:2:p:145-160
    Contact details of provider: Web page: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/(ISSN)1520-6297

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    1. Orden, David & Paarlberg, Robert & Roe, Terry, 1999. "Policy Reform in American Agriculture," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226632643.
    2. Huang, Kuo S. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2000. "Estimation Of Food Demand And Nutrient Elasticities From Household Survey Data," Technical Bulletins 33579, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    3. Fapri, 2007. "Economic Impacts of Not Extending Biofuels Subsidies," FAPRI-MU Report Series 42189, Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at University of Missouri.
    4. Michael J. Roberts & Barrett Kirwan & Jeffrey Hopkins, 2003. "The Incidence of Government Program Payments on Agricultural Land Rents: The Challenges of Identification," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 762-769.
    5. Makki, Shiva S. & Tweeten, Luther & Gleckler, James, 1994. "Agricultural trade negotiations as a strategic game," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 10(1), pages 71-80, January.
    6. Huang, Kuo S. & Lin, Biing-Hwan, 2000. "Estimation of Food Demand Nutrient Elasticities from household Survey Data," Technical Bulletins 184370, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
    7. Makki, Shiva S. & Tweeten, Luther, 1994. "Agricultural trade negotiations as a strategic game," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 10(1), January.
    8. Westcott, Paul C. & Price, J. Michael, 2001. "Analysis Of The U.S. Commodity Loan Program With Marketing Loan Provisions," Agricultural Economics Reports 34035, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
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