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Cheap Food Policy: Fact or Rhetoric

Author

Listed:
  • James Miller

    (Mississippi State Department of Agricultural Economics)

  • Keith Coble

    (Mississippi State Department of Agricultural Economics)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • James Miller & Keith Coble, 2005. "Cheap Food Policy: Fact or Rhetoric," Others 0506008, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpot:0506008
    Note: Type of Document - pdf; pages: 24
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. Tomas J. Philipson & Richard A. Posner, 1999. "The Long-Run Growth in Obesity as a Function of Technological Change," Working Papers 9912, Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago.
    4. Tweeten, Luther G., 1995. "The Twelve Best Reasons For Commodity Programs: Why None Stands Scrutiny," Choices: The Magazine of Food, Farm, and Resource Issues, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 10(2), pages 1-6.
    5. Orden, David & Paarlberg, Robert & Roe, Terry, 1999. "Policy Reform in American Agriculture," University of Chicago Press Economics Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226632643, Febrero.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Abigail M. Okrent & Julian M. Alston, 2012. "The Effects of Farm Commodity and Retail Food Policies on Obesity and Economic Welfare in the United States," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 94(3), pages 611-646.
    2. Monsivais, Pablo & Mclain, Julia & Drewnowski, Adam, 2010. "The rising disparity in the price of healthful foods: 2004-2008," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(6), pages 514-520, December.
    3. Beghin, John C. & Jensen, Helen H., 2008. "Farm policies and added sugars in US diets," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 480-488, December.
    4. Julian M. Alston & Joanna P. MacEwan & Abigail M. Okrent, 2016. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 38(3), pages 492-520.
    5. Maestre, Mar & Poole, Nigel & Henson, Spencer, 2017. "Assessing food value chain pathways, linkages and impacts for better nutrition of vulnerable groups," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 68(C), pages 31-39.
    6. Alston, Julian M. & Sumner, Daniel A. & Vosti, Stephen A., 2008. "Farm subsidies and obesity in the United States: National evidence and international comparisons," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 470-479, December.
    7. Miller, J. Corey & Coble, Keith H., 2008. "An International Comparison of the Effects of Government Agricultural Support on Food Budget Shares," Journal of Agricultural and Applied Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 40(2), pages 551-558, August.
    8. Hawkes, Corinna & Friel, Sharon & Lobstein, Tim & Lang, Tim, 2012. "Linking agricultural policies with obesity and noncommunicable diseases: A new perspective for a globalising world," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 343-353.
    9. Bradley J. Rickard & Abigail M. Okrent & Julian M. Alston, 2013. "How Have Agricultural Policies Influenced Caloric Consumption In The United States?," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 22(3), pages 316-339, March.
    10. repec:ags:remeag:163036 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Alston, Julian M. & Pardey, Philip G., 2014. "Agricultural R&D, Food Prices, Poverty and Malnutrition Redux," Staff Papers 162413, University of Minnesota, Department of Applied Economics.
    12. Rezbova, Helena & Tomsík, Karel, 2012. "Impact of Complementary National Direct Payments on Cattle Breeding Sector," AGRIS on-line Papers in Economics and Informatics, Czech University of Life Sciences Prague, Faculty of Economics and Management, vol. 4(4 Special), pages 1-11, December.
    13. Ole Boysen & Kirsten Boysen-Urban & Harvey Bradford & Jean Balié, 2018. "Taxing Highly Processed Foods - Impacts on Obesity and Underweight in Sub-Saharan Africa," Working Papers 201812, Geary Institute, University College Dublin.
    14. Golan, Elise & Unnevehr, Laurian, 2008. "Food product composition, consumer health, and public policy: Introduction and overview of special section," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(6), pages 465-469, December.
    15. repec:ags:aare13:148420 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:ags:remeag:163039 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:ags:remeag:163037 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Alston, Julian M. & Okrent, Abigail M. & Parks, Joanna, 2013. "Effects of U.S. Public Agricultural R&D on U.S. Obesity and its Social Costs- Revised," Working Papers 162530, Robert Mondavi Institute Center for Wine Economics.
    19. repec:ags:remeag:163038 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Guy E.J. Faulkner & Paul Grootendorst & Van Hai Nguyen & Tatiana Andreyeva & Kelly Arbour-Nicitopoulos & Chris Auld & Sean B. Cash & John Cawley & Peter Donnelly & Adam Drewnowski & Laurette Dubé & R, 2011. "Economic Instruments for Obesity Prevention: Results of a Scoping Review and Modified Delphi Survey," Monash Economics Working Papers 31-11, Monash University, Department of Economics.
    21. Glauber, Joseph W. & Effland, Anne, 2016. "United States agricultural policy: Its evolution and impact:," IFPRI discussion papers 1543, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Agricultural policy; obesity; food policy; technology;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q18 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Agriculture - - - Agricultural Policy; Food Policy

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