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The Incidence of Agricultural Subsidies in Mexico


  • John Scott-Andretta

    () (Division of Economics, CIDE)


This study presents a comprehensive incidence analysis of agricultural and rural development programs implemented in Mexico over the last two decades, in the context of an ambitious reform effort to modernize the agricultural sector and address rural poverty. This “second agrarian reform” included the 1992 Ejido reform, the liberation of agricultural markets through the North American Free Trade Agreement (1994-2008), and the introduction of innovative programs, including the delinked Procampo transfers and conditional cash transfers (Progresa/Oportunidades). The study presents a critical analysis of the separation between efficiency (“productive”) and equity (“social”) considerations in the design and evaluation of agricultural/rural development policies. It reviews the evolution of agricultural production, productivity, employment, salaries, and the declining impact of the sector on the income of the rural population. It analyzes the distribution of agricultural subsidies at the state and municipality level, considering the geographic distribution of growth, productivity and employment, as well as the incidence of benefits at the producer and household level, quantifying the conflicting impact of agricultural subsidies and rural development programs on rural income inequality in Mexico.

Suggested Citation

  • John Scott-Andretta, 2010. "The Incidence of Agricultural Subsidies in Mexico," Working papers DTE 473, CIDE, División de Economía.
  • Handle: RePEc:emc:wpaper:dte473

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. John Scott, 2007. "Agricultural Policy and Rural Poverty in Mexico," Working papers DTE 395, CIDE, División de Economía.
    2. Timothy A. Wise, "undated". "The Paradox of Agricultural Subsidies: Measurement Issues, Agricultural Dumping, and Policy Reform," GDAE Working Papers 04-02, GDAE, Tufts University.
    3. John Scott-Andretta & Alfredo Cuecuecha, 2010. "The Effect of Agricultural Subsidies on Migration and Agricultural Employment," Working papers DTE 474, CIDE, División de Economía.
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    Cited by:

    1. Mark Weisbrot & Stephan Lefebvre & Joseph Sammut, 2014. "Did NAFTA Help Mexico? An Assessment After 20 Years," CEPR Reports and Issue Briefs 2014-03, Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR).
    2. Cahuana-Hurtado, Lucero & Rubalcava-Peñafiel, Luis & Sosa-Rubi, Sandra, 2012. "Políticas fiscales como herramienta para la prevención de sobrepeso y obesidad [Fiscal policies to prevent obesity in Mexico]," MPRA Paper 61288, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    3. Carlos Villalobos Barría & Stephan Klasen & Sebastian Vollmer, 2016. "The Distribution Dynamics of Human Development in Mexico 1990–2010," Review of Income and Wealth, International Association for Research in Income and Wealth, vol. 62(S1), pages 47-67, August.

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    More about this item


    Agriculture; Subsidies; Rural development;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • R58 - Urban, Rural, Regional, Real Estate, and Transportation Economics - - Regional Government Analysis - - - Regional Development Planning and Policy
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy


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