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Cheap Food Policy: Fact or Rhetoric

  • James Miller

    (Mississippi State Department of Agricultural Economics)

  • Keith Coble

    (Mississippi State Department of Agricultural Economics)

The term “cheap food policy” has frequently been used as a descriptor for U.S. commodity programs by those who contend these payments to farmers ultimately result in lower food costs for consumers. More recently, farm policy has been criticized for contributing to the obesity problem in the U.S. by making large quantities of fattening foods widely available and relatively inexpensive. This paper econometrically evaluates the impact of direct government payments to farmers from 1960-1999 on the proportion of disposable income consumers spend on food. The model finds the payments do not significantly affect the affordability of food.

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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/othr/papers/0506/0506008.pdf
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Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Others with number 0506008.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: 08 Jun 2005
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0506008
Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://128.118.178.162

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  1. Tweeten, Luther G., 1995. "The Twelve Best Reasons For Commodity Programs: Why None Stands Scrutiny," Choices, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 10(2).
  2. Orden, David & Paarlberg, Robert & Roe, Terry, 1999. "Policy Reform in American Agriculture," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, edition 1, number 9780226632643.
  3. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," NBER Working Papers 7423, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Darius Lakdawalla & Tomas Philipson, 2002. "The Growth of Obesity and Technological Change: A Theoretical and Empirical Examination," Working Papers 0203, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
  5. Catherine J. Morrison Paul & James M. MacDonald, 2003. "Tracing the Effects of Agricultural Commodity Prices and Food Costs," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(3), pages 633-646.
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