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Cheap Food Policy: Fact or Rhetoric?

Author

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  • Miller, James C.
  • Coble, Keith H.

Abstract

The term "cheap food policy" has frequently been used as a descriptor for U.S. commodity programs by those who contend these payments to farmers ultimately result in lower food costs for consumers. More recently, farm policy has been criticized for contributing to the obesity problem in the U.S. by making large quantities of fattening foods widely available and relatively inexpensive. This paper econometrically evaluates the impact of direct government payments to farmers from 1960-1999 on the proportion of disposable income consumers spend on food. The model finds the payments do not significantly affect the affordability of food.

Suggested Citation

  • Miller, James C. & Coble, Keith H., 2005. "Cheap Food Policy: Fact or Rhetoric?," 2005 Annual meeting, July 24-27, Providence, RI 19310, American Agricultural Economics Association (New Name 2008: Agricultural and Applied Economics Association).
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea05:19310
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/19310
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," Working Papers 9912, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    2. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    3. Catherine J. Morrison Paul & James M. MacDonald, 2003. "Tracing the Effects of Agricultural Commodity Prices and Food Costs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 633-646.
    4. 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, June.
    5. Tweeten, Luther G., 1995. "The Twelve Best Reasons For Commodity Programs: Why None Stands Scrutiny," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 10(2).
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abigail M. Okrent & Julian M. Alston, 2012. "The Effects of Farm Commodity and Retail Food Policies on Obesity and Economic Welfare in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 611-646.
    2. Golan, Elise & Unnevehr, Laurian, 2008. "Food product composition, consumer health, and public policy: Introduction and overview of special section," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 465-469, December.
    3. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
    4. Miller, J. Corey & Coble, Keith H., 2008. "An International Comparison of the Effects of Government Agricultural Support on Food Budget Shares," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(02), pages 551-558, August.
    5. Julian M. Alston & Joanna P. MacEwan & Abigail M. Okrent, 2016. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 492-520.
    6. repec:ags:aare13:148420 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Hawkes, Corinna & Friel, Sharon & Lobstein, Tim & Lang, Tim, 2012. "Linking agricultural policies with obesity and noncommunicable diseases: A new perspective for a globalising world," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 343-353.
    8. Monsivais, Pablo & Mclain, Julia & Drewnowski, Adam, 2010. "The rising disparity in the price of healthful foods: 2004-2008," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 514-520, December.
    9. repec:ags:remeag:163039 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. repec:ags:remeag:163037 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Bradley J. Rickard & Abigail M. Okrent & Julian M. Alston, 2013. "How Have Agricultural Policies Influenced Caloric Consumption In The United States?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 316-339, March.
    12. Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Farm policies and added sugars in US diets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 480-488, December.
    13. repec:ags:remeag:163036 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. Guy E.J. Faulkner & Paul Grootendorst & Van Hai Nguyen & Tatiana Andreyeva & Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos & Chris Auld & Sean B. Cash & John Cawley & Peter Donnelly & Adam Drewnowski & Laurette Dubé & Ro, 2011. "Economic Instruments for Obesity Prevention: Results of a Scoping Review and Modified Delphi Survey," Monash Economics Working Papers 31-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    15. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G., 2014. "Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty and Malnutrition Redux," Staff Papers 162413, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    16. Rezbova, Helena & Tomsík, Karel, 2012. "Impact of Complementary National Direct Payments on Cattle Breeding Sector," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4), December.
    17. Maestre, Mar & Poole, Nigel & Henson, Spencer, 2017. "Assessing food value chain pathways, linkages and impacts for better nutrition of vulnerable groups," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-39.
    18. Alston, Julian M. & Okrent, Abigail M. & Parks, Joanna, 2013. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs- Revised," Working Papers 162530, Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics.
    19. Glauber, Joseph W. & Effland, Anne, 2016. "United States agricultural policy: Its evolution and impact:," IFPRI discussion papers 1543, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    20. repec:ags:remeag:163038 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural and Food Policy;

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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