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Taxpayer Preferences for Farm Policy and USDA Budget Expenditures


  • Ellison, Brenna D.
  • Lusk, Jayson L.
  • Briggeman, Brian C.


Current debates on food and farm policy would benefit from an improved understanding of the public’s demand for the services provided by the USDA. We determine taxpayer’s preferences for six categories of USDA expenditures using data from a nationwide survey of almost 1,200 taxpayers. We find that taxpayers believe food safety and inspection is the most important service provided by the USDA. Although there is significant heterogeneity in people’s preferences, our results reveal that at current expenditure levels, most consumers are willing to give up some of the outcomes and benefits provided by expenditures on farm support programs to obtain more of the benefits and services provided by expenditures on food safety and inspection, natural resources and environment, research and education, and rural development. However, the opposite is true of food assistance programs; most taxpayers would support a reallocation of USDA expenditures away from food assistance toward farm support programs.

Suggested Citation

  • Ellison, Brenna D. & Lusk, Jayson L. & Briggeman, Brian C., 2011. "Taxpayer Preferences for Farm Policy and USDA Budget Expenditures," 2011 Annual Meeting, February 5-8, 2011, Corpus Christi, Texas 98597, Southern Agricultural Economics Association.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:saea11:98597

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    1. Ellison, Brenna & Bernard, John C. & Paukett, Michelle & Toensmeyer, Ulrich C., 2016. "The influence of retail outlet and FSMA information on consumer perceptions of and willingness to pay for organic grape tomatoes," Journal of Economic Psychology, Elsevier, vol. 55(C), pages 109-119.

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    Agricultural and Food Policy;

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