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Essays on Agricultural and Environmental Policy

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  • Jonsson, Thomas

    () (Department of Economics, Umeå University)

Abstract

This thesis consists of a summary and four papers. The first two papers address political economy and industrial organization aspects of agricultural policy, and the last two international aspects of environmental policy. Paper [1] explains Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) subsidies to farmers by the influence of farmer interest-groups with an EU-wide membership. The analysis is based on panel-data for fifteen commodities over the period 1986-2003. Because the CAP is set as an overall EU policy, effective lobbying presents a collective action problem to the farmers of the EU as a whole. Indicators of lobbying, which are based on this perception, are found to explain part of the variation in agricultural support. In Paper [II], the Bresnahan-Lau framework is used to analyze whether policy reforms, i.e. the two-price system (an input quota, 1986-1991) and a general deregulation of dairy policy (1991-1994) had any market power effects on the Swedish butter market. The results show that the null hypothesis of no market power cannot be rejected, for any of the specific policy reforms, at any reasonable significance level. Paper [III] concerns the welfare consequences of environmental policy cooperation. It is assumed that countries finance their public expenditures by using distortionary taxes, and that they differ with respect to competition in the labor market. It is shown how the welfare effect of an increase in the expenditures on abatement depends on changes in environmental damage, employment and work hours. The welfare effect is also related to the strategic interaction among the countries in the prereform equilibrium. In Paper [IV] environmental policy in an economic federation, where each national government faces a mixed tax problem, is addressed. It is assumed that the federal government sets emission targets, which are implemented at the national level. It is also assumed that the economic federation is decentralized. The results highlight a strategic role of income and commodity taxation, i.e. each country uses its policy instruments, at least in part, to influence the emission target.

Suggested Citation

  • Jonsson, Thomas, 2007. "Essays on Agricultural and Environmental Policy," Umeå Economic Studies 719, Umeå University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:umnees:0719
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    Keywords

    agricultural policy; political economy; lobbying; cooperatives; market power; policy cooperation; distortionary taxes; labor market; Nash game; Stackelberg game; income and commodity taxation; economic federation; environmental policy;

    JEL classification:

    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • H21 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Efficiency; Optimal Taxation
    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • H70 - Public Economics - - State and Local Government; Intergovernmental Relations - - - General
    • J51 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Labor-Management Relations, Trade Unions, and Collective Bargaining - - - Trade Unions: Objectives, Structure, and Effects
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L51 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy - - - Economics of Regulation
    • L66 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Manufacturing - - - Food; Beverages; Cosmetics; Tobacco
    • Q11 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Aggregate Supply and Demand Analysis; Prices
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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