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A positive theory of agricultural protection
- Swinnen, J.F.M.
- American journal of agricultural economics 1994 v.76 no.1 pp. 1-14
- agricultural products, agriculture, production economics, trade policy, farm income, economic development, politics, equilibrium theory, mathematical models, supply balance, demand elasticities, trade
- The present paper analyses the political economy of agricultural protection in a general equilibrium framework. Rational politicians offer protectionist policies in return for political support from their constituency. Individuals in the economy have different factor endowments. Politicians exploit these differences in establishing redistributive policies when maximizing political support. Changes in economic variables--such as the urban-rural income gap capital intensity, the share of agriculture in total output and total employment, and the share of food in consumer expenditures--affect the political equilibrium policy. The analysis concludes that the observed correlation between economic development and agricultural protection is caused by a multiplicity of factors.