Macroeconomics, Macrosectoral Policies, and Agriculture in Developing Countries
This handbook devotes most of its chapters to reviewing sectoral policies related to agriculture. This chapter moves to a macroeconomic and macrosectoral view of the policy framework and its possible interaction with the agricultural sector. A previous handbook (Gordon Rausser and Bruce Gardner, eds., 2002) devoted a whole section with several chapters to economywide policies.1 Since then, there have been nontrivial changes in macroeconomic trends and policy debates, not only regarding domestic aspects but also, and perhaps more relevant for developing countries, at the level of the global economy. In the spirit of Schuh (1986) this chapter attempts to review and update some of the world macroeconomic issues relevant for agriculture, while at the same time covering domestic macroeconomic development affecting the sector, in both cases taking mostly the perspective of developing countries. The rest of this chapter is organized as follows. In Section 1, we define the main macroeconomic topics that we will cover and their links to agriculture. Section 2 presents a brief characterization of differentiated structural issues in developing countries economy in general and the agricultural sector in particular as a background for a more detailed analysis of world macroeconomic conditions and trends (Section 3) and of domestic macroeconomic policies (Section 4). Section 5 concludes by trying to weave a narrative with the performance of the agricultural sector in developing countries during the last half-century in light of world and domestic macroeconomic issues analyzed in the previous two sections and to present some speculative thoughts about the future evolution of the sector in those countries.
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