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Political Economy of Distortions to Agricultural Incentives: Introduction and Summary

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  • Anderson, Kym

Abstract

During the 1960s and 1970s most developing countries imposed anti-agricultural policies, while many high-income countries restricted agricultural imports and subsidized their farmers. Both sets of policies inhibited economic growth and poverty alleviation in developing countries, while doing little to assist small farmers in high-income countries. Since the 1980s, however, many developing countries began to reduce the anti-agricultural bias of sectoral policies, and from the early 1990s the European Union began to move away from price supports to more-direct forms of farm income payments. This paper summarizes a forthcoming book that seeks to explain this evolving pattern of distortions to incentives conceptually and econometrically by making use of new political economy theory and a new globally comprehensive and consistent set of estimates of the changing extent of annual distortions over the past half-century. The distortion estimates involve more than 70 products that cover around 70 percent of the value of agricultural output in each of 75 countries that together account for over 90 percent of the global economy, and they expose the contribution of the various policy instruments (both farm and non-farm) to the net distortion to farmer incentives. Such a widespread coverage of countries, products, years and policy instruments has allowed this collection of studies to test a wide range of hypotheses suggested by the new political economy literature, including the importance of institutions. As a set it sheds much new light on the underlying forces that have affected incentives facing farmers in the course of national and global economic and political development, and hence on how those distortions might change in the future – or be changed by concerted actions to offset political pressures from traditionally powerful vested interests.

Suggested Citation

  • Anderson, Kym, 2009. "Political Economy of Distortions to Agricultural Incentives: Introduction and Summary," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50306, World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:ags:wbadwp:50306
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    File URL: http://purl.umn.edu/50306
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. De Gorter, Harry & Swinnen, Johan, 2002. "Political economy of agricultural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics,in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 36, pages 1893-1943 Elsevier.
    2. Kym Anderson & Peter Lloyd & Donald Maclaren, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Australia Since World War II," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 83(263), pages 461-482, December.
    3. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L. & Lloyd, Peter J, 2009. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: New Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1955 to 2007," CEPR Discussion Papers 7160, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    4. Martin Ravallion & Shaohua Chen & Prem Sangraula, 2007. "New Evidence on the Urbanization of Global Poverty," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 33(4), pages 667-701.
    5. Johanna L. Croser & Peter J. Lloyd & Kym Anderson, 2010. "How Do Agricultural Policy Restrictions on Global Trade and Welfare Differ Across Commodities?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 698-712.
    6. Anderson, Kym & Tyers, Rod, 1992. "Japanese rice policy in the interwar period: Some consequences of imperial self sufficiency," Japan and the World Economy, Elsevier, vol. 4(2), pages 103-127, September.
    7. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L. & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2009. "Agricultural Distortion Patterns Since the 1950s: What Needs Explaining?," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50305, World Bank.
    8. Anderson, Kym & Croser, Johanna L., 2009. "Distribution of Agricultural NRAs across Countries and Products, 1955-84 and 1985-2007," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50307, World Bank.
    9. Kym Anderson & Will Martin, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Asia," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2611.
    10. Kym Anderson & Johan Swinnen, 2008. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Europe's Transition Economies," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6502.
    11. Kym Anderson & William A. Masters, 2009. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Africa," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2607.
    12. Anderson, Kym & Kurzweil, Marianne & Martin, Will & Sandri, Damiano & Valenzuela, Ernesto, 2008. "Measuring distortions to agricultural incentives, revisited," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(04), pages 675-704, October.
    13. Acemoglu,Daron & Robinson,James A., 2009. "Economic Origins of Dictatorship and Democracy," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521671422, May.
    14. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina, 2008. "Consitutional Rules and Agricultural Policy Outcomes," 2008 International Congress, August 26-29, 2008, Ghent, Belgium 43870, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
    15. Valenzuela, Ernesto & Kym Anderson, 2009. "Alternative Agricultural Price Distortions for CGE Analysis of Developing Countries, 2004 and 1980-84," GTAP Research Memoranda 2925, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
    16. Cheryl Schonhardt-Bailey, 2006. "From the Corn Laws to Free Trade: Interests, Ideas, and Institutions in Historical Perspective," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262195437, January.
    17. Valenzuela, Ernesto & Wong, Sara & Sandri, Damiano, 2007. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Ecuador," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48394, World Bank.
    18. Orden, David & Blandford, David & Josling, Timothy E., 2009. "Determinants of Farm Policies in the United States, 1996-2008," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 50297, World Bank.
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    Cited by:

    1. Elena Briones Alonso & Jo Swinnen, 2015. " A value chain approach to measuring distortions to incentives and food policy effects (with application to Pakistan’s grain policy)," Working Papers LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 493428, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
    2. Kym Anderson & Ernesto Valenzuela, 2011. "Agricultural Policy as a Barrier to Global Economic Integration," Chapters,in: International Handbook on the Economics of Integration, Volume III, chapter 11 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    3. Kym Anderson & Anna Strutt, 2016. "Impacts of Emerging Asia on African and Latin American Trade: Projections to 2030," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 39(2), pages 172-194, February.
    4. Poczta-Wajda, Agnieszka, 6. "Assistance To Agriculture In Countries Of A Different Development Level And Trends In World Trade With Agricultural Products," Roczniki (Annals), Polish Association of Agricultural Economists and Agribusiness - Stowarzyszenie Ekonomistow Rolnictwa e Agrobiznesu (SERiA), issue 6.
    5. Johanna L. Croser & Peter J. Lloyd & Kym Anderson, 2010. "How Do Agricultural Policy Restrictions on Global Trade and Welfare Differ Across Commodities?," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 92(3), pages 698-712.
    6. Kym Anderson & Hans Grinsted Jensen & Signe Nelgen & Anna Strutt, 2016. "What is the Appropriate Counterfactual When Estimating Effects of Multilateral Trade Policy Reform?," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 764-778, September.
    7. repec:fpr:ifpric:9780896292499-02 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Kym Anderson, 2017. "Sectoral Trends and Shocks in Australia's Economic Growth," Australian Economic History Review, Economic History Society of Australia and New Zealand, vol. 57(1), pages 2-21, March.
    9. Peter J. Lloyd & Johanna L. Croser & Kym Anderson, 2010. "Global Distortions to Agricultural Markets: Indicators of Trade and Welfare Impacts, 1960 to 2007," Review of Development Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(2), pages 141-160, May.
    10. Johnson, Michael E. & Dorosh, Paul A., 2015. "Optimal tariffs with smuggling: A spatial analysis of Nigerian rice policy options:," IFPRI discussion papers 1493, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
    11. Giulia Meloni & Jo Swinnen, 2016. " Bugs, tariffs and colonies: the political economy of the wine trade 1860-1970," Working Papers LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance 556191, KU Leuven, Faculty of Economics and Business, LICOS Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance.
    12. Czyżewski, Bazyli, 2016. "Political Rents of European Farmers in the Sustainable Development Paradigm. International, national and regional perspective," MPRA Paper 74253, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    13. Andrew Ojede & Amin Mugera & Daigyo Seo, 2013. "Macroeconomic Policy Reforms And Productivity Growth In African Agriculture," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 31(4), pages 814-830, October.
    14. Alexandros Sarris, 2014. "Trade, food and welfare," Chapters,in: Handbook on Food, chapter 13, pages 325-352 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    15. S. Niggol Seo, 2011. "The impacts of climate change on Australia and New Zealand: a Gross Cell Product analysis by land cover," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 55(2), pages 220-238, April.
    16. Martín Rossi & Ezequiel García Lembergman & Rodolfo Stucchi, 2015. "The Impact of Restrictions to Export on Production: A synthetic controls approach," Working Papers 124, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2015.
    17. Johan F. M. Swinnen, 2009. "The Growth of Agricultural Protection in Europe in the 19th and 20th Centuries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 32(11), pages 1499-1537, November.
    18. Steve McCorriston & Donald MacLaren, 2013. "Domestic and Trade Equivalences of State Trading Importers," Review of International Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 21(5), pages 1006-1020, November.
    19. Briones, Roehlano M. & Tolin, Lovely Ann C., 2015. "Options for Supporting Rice Farmers Under a Post-QR Regime: Review and Assessment," Research Paper Series DP 2015-46, Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
    20. Keijiro Otsuka, 2012. "Economic Transformation of Agriculture in Asia: Past Performance and Future Prospects," Asian Journal of Agriculture and Development, Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA), vol. 9(1), pages 1-19, June.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Distorted incentives; agricultural and trade policy reforms; national agricultural development; Political economy; agricultural price and trade policies; Agricultural and Food Policy; International Relations/Trade; F13; F14; Q17; Q18; F59; H20; N50; O13;

    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
    • F59 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - Other
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • N50 - Economic History - - Agriculture, Natural Resources, Environment and Extractive Industries - - - General, International, or Comparative
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products

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