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The structure of lobbying and protection in U.S. agriculture

  • Gawande, Kishore

The author surveys the empirical literature on the political economy of agricultural protection. He uses a detailed data set of agricultural Political Action Committee (PAC) contributions over five U.S. congressional election cycles over the 1991-2000 period to investigate the relationship between lobbying spending and agricultural protection. A detailed graphical analysis of campaign contributions by the agricultural PACs indicates that although there are very many PACs, in most sectors the majority of contributions are made by very few PACs. Econometric analysis reveals that lobbying spending by agricultural PACs is positively associated with the use of nontariff barriers and specific tariffs by the United States. There is a strong association between the average U.S. tariff on goods that benefit from U.S. export subsidies and lobbying spending. And there is no association between agricultural protection and trade measures such as import penetration and the export-to-output ratio.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 3722.

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Date of creation: 19 Sep 2005
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:3722
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  1. Gardner, Bruce L, 1987. "Causes of U.S. Farm Commodity Programs," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 95(2), pages 290-310, April.
  2. Dana L. Hoag & Thomas G. Field, 1999. "Political and Economic Factors Affecting Agricultural PAC Contribution Strategies," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 81(2), pages 397-407.
  3. Bennedsen, Morten & Feldmann, Sven E., 2000. "Lobbying Legislatures," Working Papers 07-2000, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Economics.
  4. Stephen P. MacGee, 1972. "The Welfare Effects of Restrictions on U.S. Trade," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 3(3), pages 645-708.
  5. Parker, Glenn R & Parker, Suzanne L, 1998. " The Economic Organization of Legislatures and How It Affects Congressional Voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1-2), pages 117-29, April.
  6. Bruce L. Gardner, 1994. "The Political Economy of U.S. Export Subsidies for Wheat," NBER Working Papers 4747, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Jonathan C. Brooks & A. Colin Cameron & Colin A. Carter, 1998. "Political Action Committee Contributions and U.S. Congressional Voting on Sugar Legislation," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 80(3), pages 441-454.
  8. van Bastelaer, Thierry, 1998. " The Political Economy of Food Pricing: An Extended Empirical Test of the Interest Group Approach," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 96(1-2), pages 43-60, July.
  9. Olper, Alessandro, 1998. "Political Economy Determinants of Agricultural Protection Levels in EU Member States: An Empirical Investigation," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 463-87.
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  12. Swinnen, Johan F.M., 1991. "A Positive Theory Of Agricultural Protection," Working Papers 6851, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
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  14. Kishore Gawande & Usree Bandyopadhyay, 2000. "Is Protection for Sale? Evidence on the Grossman-Helpman Theory of Endogenous Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 82(1), pages 139-152, February.
  15. Glenn Parker & Suzanne Parker, 1998. "The economic organization of legislatures and how it affects congressional voting," Public Choice, Springer, vol. 95(1), pages 117-129, April.
  16. Giovanni Maggi & Pinelopi Koujianou Goldberg, 1999. "Protection for Sale: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(5), pages 1135-1155, December.
  17. Bernheim, B Douglas & Whinston, Michael D, 1986. "Menu Auctions, Resource Allocation, and Economic Influence," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 101(1), pages 1-31, February.
  18. Devashish Mitra & Dimitrios D. Thomakos & Mehmet A. Ulubaşoglu, 2002. ""Protection For Sale" In A Developing Country: Democracy Vs. Dictatorship," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(3), pages 497-508, August.
  19. Robert W. Crandall, 1978. "Federal Government Initiatives to Reduce the Price Level," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 9(2), pages 401-452.
  20. George J. Stigler, 1971. "The Theory of Economic Regulation," Bell Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 2(1), pages 3-21, Spring.
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