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Campaign Contributions and Agricultural Subsidies

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  • Lopez, Rigoberto A.

Abstract

This article examines the influence of campaign contributions on agricultural subsidies. Empirical results revealed that rent seeking works, i.e., campaign contributions of agricultural-related industries influence agricultural subsidies in the manner they best serve contributors' economic interests. Eliminating campaign contributions would significantly decrease agricultural subsidies, hurt farm groups, benefit consumers and taxpayers, and increase social welfare by approximately $5.5 billion. Although contributions are not the only determinants of agricultural subsidies, investment returns to farm PAC contributors are quite high ($1 in contributions brings about $2,000 in policy transfers). In fact, the results are in sharp contrast to the "truthful contributions" assumption of the Grossman-Helpman model.

Suggested Citation

  • Lopez, Rigoberto A., 2001. "Campaign Contributions and Agricultural Subsidies," Research Reports 25223, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:uconnr:25223
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Grossman, Gene M & Helpman, Elhanan, 1994. "Protection for Sale," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 833-850, September.
    2. Lopez, Rigoberto A & Pagoulatos, Emilio, 1996. "Trade Protection and the Role of Campaign Contributions in U.S. Food and Tobacco Industries," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 34(2), pages 237-248, April.
    3. Beghin, John C & Kherallah, Mylene, 1994. "Political Institutions and International Patterns of Agricultural Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 482-489, August.
    4. Esty, Daniel C & Caves, Richard E, 1983. "Market Structure and Political Influence: New Data on Political Expenditures, Activity, and Success," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 21(1), pages 24-38, January.
    5. Honma, Masayoshi & Hayami, Yujiro, 1986. "Structure of agricultural protection in industrial countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(1-2), pages 115-129, February.
    6. Mueller, Dennis C & Stratmann, Thomas, 1994. "Informative and Persuasive Campaigning," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 81(1-2), pages 55-77, October.
    7. Gardner, Bruce L, 1992. "Changing Economic Perspectives on the Farm Problem," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 62-101, March.
    8. Gary S. Becker, 1983. "A Theory of Competition Among Pressure Groups for Political Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(3), pages 371-400.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Rigoberto A. Lopez & Xenia Matschke, 2006. "Food Protection for Sale," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(3), pages 380-391, August.
    2. Lopez, Rigoberto A. & Hathie, Ibrahima, 2002. "Is Protection for Sale in U.S. Food Industries?," Research Reports 25182, University of Connecticut, Food Marketing Policy Center.
    3. Per G. Fredriksson & Khawaja A. Mamun, 2014. "Tobacco Politics and Electoral Accountability in the United States," Public Finance Review, , vol. 42(1), pages 4-34, January.
    4. Rigoberto A. Lopez, 2008. "Does 'Protection for Sale' Apply to the US Food Industries?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 25-40, February.
    5. Bellemare, Marc F. & Carnes, Nicholas, 2015. "Why do members of congress support agricultural protection?," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 50(C), pages 20-34.
    6. Gawande, Kishore & Hoekman, Bernard, 2006. "Lobbying and Agricultural Trade Policy in the United States," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 60(03), pages 527-561, July.
    7. Lopez, Rigoberto A. & He, Xi & De Falcis, Eleonora, 2017. "What Drives China’s New Agricultural Subsidies?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 279-292.
    8. Allcott, Hunt & Lederman, Daniel & Lopez, Ramon, 2006. "Political institutions, inequality, and agricultural growth : the public expenditure connection," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3902, The World Bank.

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