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How Much Do Decoupled Payments Affect Production? An Instrumental Variable Approach with Panel Data


  • Weber, Jeremy G.
  • Key, Nigel D.


Agricultural support payments that cause no or minimal production distortions are exempt from World Trade Organization restrictions. If and how much decoupled payments, such as direct payments in the U.S., affect agricultural production remains an open empirical question with implications for policy. We use multiple years of the Census of Agriculture to estimate the aggregate supply response to changes in direct payments. To identify an exogenous source of variation in payments we exploit a provision of the 2002 Farm Act that departed from previous policy by making oilseeds eligible for direct payments, thus increasing payments to areas that historically produced more oilseeds. Using a sample of ZIP codes that accounts for more than eighty percent of the national value of production of program crops, our instrumental variable estimates, in contrast to OLS estimates, suggest that changes in payments over the period 2002 to 2007 had little effect on aggregate production.

Suggested Citation

  • Weber, Jeremy G. & Key, Nigel D., 2011. "How Much Do Decoupled Payments Affect Production? An Instrumental Variable Approach with Panel Data," 2011 Annual Meeting, July 24-26, 2011, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 103455, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:aaea11:103455

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. C. Edwin Young & Paul C. Westcott, 2000. "How Decoupled Is U.S. Agricultural Support for Major Crops?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(3), pages 762-767.
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    Cited by:

    1. Jeremy G. Weber & Nigel Key & Erik O’Donoghue, 2016. "Does Federal Crop Insurance Make Environmental Externalities from Agriculture Worse?," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 3(3), pages 707-742.
    2. Barrett E. Kirwan & Michael J. Roberts, 2016. "Who Really Benefits from Agricultural Subsidies? Evidence from Field-level Data," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 98(4), pages 1095-1113.
    3. repec:spr:agfoec:v:5:y:2017:i:1:d:10.1186_s40100-017-0078-9 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. V. Santoni & M. Pulina, 2016. "An analysis on the Italian agricultural firms: effects of public subsidies," Working Paper CRENoS 201611, Centre for North South Economic Research, University of Cagliari and Sassari, Sardinia.
    5. Marian Rizov & Jan Pokrivcak & Pavel Ciaian, 2013. "CAP Subsidies and Productivity of the EU Farms," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(3), pages 537-557, September.
    6. Murphy, Geraldine & O’Donoghue, Cathal & Hynes, Stephen & Murphy, Eithne, 2014. "Modelling the Participation Decision in Agri-Environmental Schemes," 2014 International Congress, August 26-29, 2014, Ljubljana, Slovenia 183069, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    7. Rizov, Marian & Pokrivcak, Jan & Ciaian, Pavel, 2013. "CAP Subsidies and the Productivity of EU Farms," Factor Markets Working Papers 148, Centre for European Policy Studies.
    8. Andrius Kazukauskas & Carol Newman & Johannes Sauer, 2014. "The impact of decoupled subsidies on productivity in agriculture: a cross-country analysis using microdata," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(3), pages 327-336, May.
    9. O’Toole, Conor & Hennessy, Thia, 2015. "Do decoupled payments affect investment financing constraints? Evidence from Irish agriculture," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 67-75.
    10. Moro, Daniele & Sckokai, Paolo, 2013. "The impact of decoupled payments on farm choices: Conceptual and methodological challenges," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 28-38.
    11. Grüner, Hans Peter & Muller, Daniel, 2016. "Measuring political information rents: Evidence from the European agricultural reform," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 43(C), pages 107-126.
    12. Burns, Christopher & Prager, Daniel, "undated". "Do Direct Payments and Crop Insurance Influence Commercial Farm Survival and Decisions to Expand?," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235693, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    13. repec:gam:jsusta:v:9:y:2017:i:9:p:1648-:d:112190 is not listed on IDEAS

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    decoupled payments; supply response; government payments; program crops; trade policy; Agricultural and Food Policy; Crop Production/Industries; International Relations/Trade;

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