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Who Really Benefits from Agricultural Subsidies? Evidence from Field-Level Data

  • Kirwan, Barrett E.
  • Roberts, Michael J.

The idea that agricultural subsidies are fully capitalized into farmland values forms the foundation of the argument that subsidies are entitlements and removing them would drastically reduce farmland asset values. Surprisingly little evidence substantiates this claim. Using field-level data and explicitly controlling for potentially confounding variables we find that landlords only capture between 14 – 24 cents of the marginal subsidy dollar. The duration of the rental arrangement has a substantial effect on the incidence. Initially, landlords extract 44 cents of the marginal subsidy dollar, but the incidence falls by 1.5 cents with each additional year of the rental arrangement. This duration effect reveals that rental market frictions play an important role in the farmland rental market.

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File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/62028
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Paper provided by Agricultural and Applied Economics Association in its series 2010 Annual Meeting, July 25-27, 2010, Denver, Colorado with number 62028.

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Date of creation: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea10:62028
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  1. Douglas W. Allen & Dean Lueck, 2004. "The Nature of the Farm: Contracts, Risk, and Organization in Agriculture," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262511851, June.
  2. Allen, Douglas W & Lueck, Dean, 1998. "The Nature of the Farm," Journal of Law and Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 41(2), pages 343-86, October.
  3. Miranowski, John, 1993. "Understanding Farmland Price Changes," Staff General Research Papers 10696, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  4. Kirwan, Barrett E., 2008. "The Incidence of U.S. Agricultural Subsidies on Farmland Rental Rates," Working Papers 42714, University of Maryland, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
  5. 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.
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