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Political reforms and public policy : evidence from agricultural and food policies

  • Olper, Alessandro
  • Fatkowski, Jan
  • Swinnenm Johan

This paper studies the effect of political regime transitions on public policy using a new data set on global agricultural and food policies over a 50-year period (including data from 74 developing and developed countries over the 1955–2005 period). The authors find evidence that democratization leads to a reduction of agricultural taxation, an increase in agricultural subsidization, or both. The empirical findings are consistent with the predictions of the median voter model because political transitions occurred primarily in countries with a majority of farmers. The results are robust to different specifications, estimation approaches, and variable definitions.

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Paper provided by The World Bank in its series Policy Research Working Paper Series with number 6336.

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Date of creation: 01 Jan 2013
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Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:6336
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  1. Francesco Giavazzi & Guido Tabellini, 2004. "Economic and Political Liberalizations," CESifo Working Paper Series 1249, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Johan F.M. Swinnen & Scott Rozelle, 2009. "Governance Structures and Resource Policy Reform: Insights from Agricultural Transition," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 1(1), pages 33-54, 09.
  3. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Preface to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium Princeton University Press.
  4. Olper, Alessandro, 2007. "Land inequality, government ideology and agricultural protection," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 67-83, February.
  5. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
  6. Beghin, John C & Kherallah, Mylene, 1994. "Political Institutions and International Patterns of Agricultural Protection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(3), pages 482-89, August.
  7. Timothy Besley & Torsten Persson, 2009. "The origins of state capacity: property rights, taxation and politics," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 33768, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  8. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
  9. M. Ataman Aksoy & John C. Beghin, 2005. "Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7464.
  10. De Gorter, Harry & Swinnen, Johan, 2002. "Political economy of agricultural policy," Handbook of Agricultural Economics, in: B. L. Gardner & G. C. Rausser (ed.), Handbook of Agricultural Economics, edition 1, volume 2, chapter 36, pages 1893-1943 Elsevier.
  11. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Power and Plenty: Trade, War and the World Economy in the Second Millennium (Preface)," The Institute for International Integration Studies Discussion Paper Series iiisdp205, IIIS.
  12. Casey B. Mulligan & Ricard Gil & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2004. "Do Democracies Have Different Public Policies than Nondemocracies?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 18(1), pages 51-74, Winter.
  13. Swinnen, Johan F.M., 1991. "A Positive Theory Of Agricultural Protection," Working Papers 6851, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  14. Robert H. Bates & Steven Block, 2010. "Political Institutions and Agricultural Trade Interventions in Africa," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 93(2), pages 317-323.
  15. Kevin H. O'Rourke & Alan M. Taylor, 2006. "Democracy and Protectionism," NBER Working Papers 12250, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Anderson, Kym, 1995. "Lobbying Incentives and the Pattern of Protection in Rich and Poor Countries," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 43(2), pages 401-23, January.
  17. Swinnen, Johan F.M. & Rozelle, Scott, 2006. "From Marx and Mao to the Market: The Economics and Politics of Agricultural Transition," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780199288915, December.
  18. Milner, Helen V. & Kubota, Keiko, 2005. "Why the Move to Free Trade? Democracy and Trade Policy in the Developing Countries," International Organization, Cambridge University Press, vol. 59(01), pages 107-143, January.
  19. Manuel Arellano & Stephen Bond, 1991. "Some Tests of Specification for Panel Data: Monte Carlo Evidence and an Application to Employment Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 58(2), pages 277-297.
  20. Swinnen, Johan F.M. & Banerjee, Anurag N. & Gorter, Harry de, 2001. "Economic development, institutional change, and the political economy of agricultural protection An econometric study of Belgium since the 19th century," Agricultural Economics of Agricultural Economists, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 26(1), October.
  21. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
  22. Ronald Findlay & Kevin H. O'Rourke, 2007. "Introduction to Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium," Introductory Chapters, in: Power and Plenty: Trade, War, and the World Economy in the Second Millennium Princeton University Press.
  23. Alessandro Olper, 2001. "Determinants of Agricultural Protection: The Role of Democracy and Institutional Setting Alessandro Olper," Journal of Agricultural Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 75-92.
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