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Political Reforms and Public Policies: Evidence from Agricultural Protection

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  • Alessandro Olper
  • Jan Falkowski
  • Johan Swinnen

Abstract

This paper studies the effect of political regime transitions on public policy using a dataset on global agricultural distortions over 50 years (including data from 74 developing and developed countries over the period 1955-2005). We employ both difference-in-differences regressions and semi-parametric matching methods, exploiting the time series and cross-sectional variation in the data. Our semi-parametric estimates show that parametric methods might underestimate the effect of democracy on public policy. In addition, we find that the effect is asymmetric: agricultural protection increases after a country's transition to democracy of about 9% points, but there is no effect when the political regime shifts from democracy to autocracy. Overall, the evidence supports the redistributive nature of democratic institutions toward the majority and, therefore, it is consistent with the median voter model of political behaviour.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Olper & Jan Falkowski & Johan Swinnen, 2009. "Political Reforms and Public Policies: Evidence from Agricultural Protection," LICOS Discussion Papers 25109, LICOS - Centre for Institutions and Economic Performance, KU Leuven.
  • Handle: RePEc:lic:licosd:25109
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    File URL: http://www.econ.kuleuven.be/licos/publications/dp/dp251.pdf
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    Cited by:

    1. Yuan Li & Bo Xiong & John C Beghin, 2017. "The Political Economy of Food Standard Determination: International Evidence from Maximum Residue Limits," World Scientific Book Chapters, in: John Christopher Beghin (ed.), Nontariff Measures and International Trade, chapter 14, pages 239-267, World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd..
    2. Kym Anderson & Gordon Rausser & Johan Swinnen, 2013. "Political Economy of Public Policies: Insights from Distortions to Agricultural and Food Markets," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 51(2), pages 423-477, June.
    3. Paola Giuliano & Prachi Mishra & Antonio Spilimbergo, 2013. "Democracy and Reforms: Evidence from a New Dataset," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 179-204, October.
    4. Giuliano, Paola & Mishra, Prachi & Spilimbergo, Antonio, 2009. "Democracy and Reforms," IZA Discussion Papers 4032, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    5. Jan Fałkowski & Alessandro Olper, 2014. "Political competition and policy choices: the evidence from agricultural protection," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 45(2), pages 143-158, March.
    6. Olper, Alessandro & Raimondi, Valentina, 2013. "Electoral rules, forms of government and redistributive policy: Evidence from agriculture and food policies," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(1), pages 141-158.
    7. Pieters, Hannah & Curzi, Daniele & Olper, Alessandro & Swinnen, Jo, 2014. "Political Reforms and Food Security," 2014 Third Congress, June 25-27, 2014, Alghero, Italy 173092, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA).
    8. Nathan M. Jensen & Mi Jeong Shin, 2014. "Globalization and Domestic Trade Policy Preferences: Foreign Frames and Mass Support for Agriculture Subsidies," International Interactions, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 305-324, May.
    9. Fałkowski, Jan & Olper, Alessandro, 2010. "Political competition and support for agriculture," IAMO Forum 2010: Institutions in Transition – Challenges for New Modes of Governance 52697, Leibniz Institute of Agricultural Development in Central and Eastern Europe (IAMO).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Democratic Reforms; Agricultural Distortions; Comparative;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D72 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Political Processes: Rent-seeking, Lobbying, Elections, Legislatures, and Voting Behavior
    • F13 - International Economics - - Trade - - - Trade Policy; International Trade Organizations
    • O13 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Agriculture; Natural Resources; Environment; Other Primary Products
    • P16 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Political Economy of Capitalism
    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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