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Explaining Agricultural Distortion Patterns : The Roles of Ideology, Inequality, Lobbying and Public Finance

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  • Dutt, Pushan
  • Mitra, Devashish

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the political economy drivers of the variation in agricultural protection, both across countries and within countries over time. The paper starts by listing the key insights provided by both the theoretical and empirical literature on the political economy of trade policy formulation. We then set out a basic framework that allows us to put forth various testable hypotheses on the variation and evolution of agricultural protection. We find that both the political ideology of the government and the degree of income inequality are important determinants of agricultural protection. Thus, both the political-support-function approach as well as the median-voter approach can be used in explaining the variation in agricultural protection across countries and within countries over time. The results are consistent with the predictions of a model that assumes that labor is specialized and sector-specific in nature. Some aspects of protection also seem to be consistent with predictions of a lobbying model in that agricultural protection is negatively related to agricultural employment and positively related to agricultural productivity. Public finance aspects of protection also seem to be empirically important.

Suggested Citation

  • Dutt, Pushan & Mitra, Devashish, 2009. "Explaining Agricultural Distortion Patterns : The Roles of Ideology, Inequality, Lobbying and Public Finance," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50299, World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:wbadwp:50299
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50299
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    Cited by:

    1. Siudek, Tomasz & Zawojska, Aldona, 2011. "Relationship of Development and Fiscal Indicators with Agricultural Producer Support in the OECD Economies," 2011 International Congress, August 30-September 2, 2011, Zurich, Switzerland 116009, European Association of Agricultural Economists.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distorted incentives; agricultural and trade policy reforms; national agricultural development; Agricultural protection; political economy; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; F13; F14; Q17; Q18; D72; D78; F11;

    JEL classification:

    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • F14 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Empirical Studies of Trade
    • Q17 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agriculture in International Trade
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy
    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • D78 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Positive Analysis of Policy Formulation and Implementation
    • F11 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Neoclassical Models of Trade

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