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Distortions to agricultural incentives in Australia since world war II

  • Anderson, Kym
  • Lloyd, Peter
  • MacLaren, Donald

Australia's lackluster economic growth performance in the first four decades following World War II was in part due to an anti-trade, anti-primary sector bias in government assistance policies. This paper provides new annual estimates of the extent of those biases since 1946 and their gradual phase-out during the past two decades. In doing so it reveals that the timing of the sector assistance cuts was such as sometimes to improve but sometimes to worsen the distortions to incentives faced by farmers. The changes increased the variation of assistance rates within agriculture during the 1950s and 1960s, reducing the welfare contribution of those programs in that period. Although the assistance pattern within agriculture appears not to have been strongly biased against exporters, its reform has coincided with a substantial increase in the export orientation of many farm industries. The overall pattern for Australia is contrasted with that revealed by comparable new estimates for other high-income countries.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 4471.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4471
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  1. Marc J. Melitz, 2003. "The Impact of Trade on Intra-Industry Reallocations and Aggregate Industry Productivity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1695-1725, November.
  2. Kym Anderson & Will Martin & Dominique van der Mensbrugghe, 2006. "Distortions to World Trade: Impacts on Agricultural Markets and Farm Incomes," Review of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 28(2), pages 168-194.
  3. Anderson, Kym & Lattimore, Ralph G. & Lloyd, Peter J. & MacLaren, Donald, 2008. "Distortions to Agricultural Incentives in Australia and New Zealand," Agricultural Distortions Working Paper 48387, World Bank.
  4. Dean Parham, 2004. "Sources of Australia's Productivity Revival," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 80(249), pages 239-257, 06.
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  7. Anderson, Kym & James, Sarah, 1998. "On the Need for More Economic Assessment of Quarantine/SPS Policies," CEPR Discussion Papers 1934, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  8. Anderson, Kym, 1997. "Are Resource-Abundant Economies Disadvantaged?," 1997 Conference (41st), January 22-24, 1997, Gold Coast, Australia 135403, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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  12. David Card & Richard B. Freeman, 2004. "What Have Two Decades of British Economic Reform Delivered?," NBER Chapters, in: Seeking a Premier Economy: The Economic Effects of British Economic Reforms, 1980-2000, pages 9-62 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Harris, S.F., 1964. "Some Measures Of Levels Of Protection In Australia'S Rural Industries," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 8(02), December.
  14. Warr, Peter G., 1978. "The Case Against Tariff Compensation," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 22(02-03).
  15. Anonymous, 2006. "Rural Water Use and the Environment: The Role of Market Mechanisms," Commissioned Studies 8020, Productivity Commission.
  16. Kym Anderson & Ernesto Valenzuela, 2007. "Do Global Trade Distortions Still Harm Developing Country Farmers?," Review of World Economics (Weltwirtschaftliches Archiv), Springer, vol. 143(1), pages 108-139, April.
  17. S.F. Harris, 1964. "Some Measures Of Levels Of Protection In Australia'S Rural Industries," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 8(2), pages 124-144, December.
  18. Stephan Pfaffenzeller & Paul Newbold & Anthony Rayner, 2007. "A Short Note on Updating the Grilli and Yang Commodity Price Index," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 21(1), pages 151-163.
  19. Productivity Commission, 2005. "Trends in Australian Agriculture," Research Papers 0502, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
  20. Anderson, Kym, 1999. "The WTO Agenda for the New Millennium," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 75(228), pages 77-88, March.
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  22. Kym Anderson & Lee Ann Jackson, 2005. "GM crop technology and trade restraints: economic implications for Australia and New Zealand ," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 49(3), pages 263-281, 09.
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  27. repec:rus:hseeco:122439 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. Lloyd, Peter J., 1975. "Tariff Compensation: An Undesirable Policy," Australian Journal of Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 19(03), December.
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