It is generally believed that agricultural interventionism represents the payment of political rents to farmers. We attempt to show that the concept of political rent known as the rent-seeking theory is not valid for agricultural policy. It is not justified to identify the entire subsidies paid to agriculture as a ‘political rent’, since political rents cannot be taken to include payments for the supply of public goods or those transfers which compensate for market imperfections. Our work aims firstly to review the concepts of rents and rent-seeking, and to develop a methodology for quantifying political rents in agricultural policy. We perform comparative analyses with the aim of calculating the ‘pure political rent’, based on the input-output approach for representative farms according to the EU FADN typology and on a decomposition of the Hicks–Moorsteen TFP index for the period 2004-2012 and 27 European Union Member States. The calculations of political rents show that historical payments are neither a rational nor a just solution. No attempts have yet been made in the literature to quantify political rents, even though this might lead to an improvement in the effectiveness of public expenditure. The original methodology is proposed for valuing these items.
The environmental impacts of agricultural policies must be quantified to perform full cost-benefit analyses and make informed policy decisions. In this paper I use a unique panel data set to estimate the effect of changes in cropland on lake water quality. Fifteen years of water quality measurements across over 100 lakes are combined with satellite imagery and weather data. Using a dynamic panel data model, I find that the elasticity of water quality to cropland is 0.0535. To understand the policy implications, I estimate a second model to find the elasticity of cropland to crop prices. I combine these estimates to analyze the effect of the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). I find that the RFS decreased lake water quality; however, the magnitude of this effect is negligible.
The original CAP’s high levels of border protection on many products involved a variable import levy bridging the gap between world prices and the EU’s much higher minimum import price. The Uruguay Round ended this, but tariffication also meant that subsequent CAP reforms reducing EU levels of domestic market price support would no longer trigger lower tariffs. Moreover the Doha Round’s plans for tariff cuts are in abeyance. The consequences are: i) for these products, only preferential sup¬pliers penetrate the EU’s protected market; ii) negotiation of Free Trade Areas is made more complicated; and iii) “Brexit” is problematic.
The debate on reforming the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) after 2020 had already started when the European Commission published its own vision on the future of agriculture and food production in the European Union. One of the key aspects of this debate relates to the revision of the system of EU direct payments by revising degressivity and capping rules. Although it has, for a long time, been a popular idea to limit payments to larger farms in one way or another, and subsidise smaller agricultural holdings instead, this idea has serious drawbacks as this paper shows. The aim of this study is to analyse the impact of degressivity and capping on European farm structures by reviewing existing literature on the topic as well as by providing new evidence from Hungary. Results suggest that placing a cap on direct payments may be causing more harm than good in terms of land use change.
Under the latest reform of the Common Agricultural Policy, 2015 was the first year when greening requirements were implemented. Legal rules obliged farmers to move towards more environmentally-friendly land use practices. The aim of this paper is to present the first effects of the implementation of greening in Poland. The paper is based on an FADN panel of 7.4 thousand private farms participated in the Single Area Payment Scheme in Poland. The sample also enabled to identify organisational changes in agricultural production after greening. Results suggest that Polish farms have adapted well to greening requirements and the new system has not caused productivity and profitability of Polish farms to decrease in 2015.
The export tax rebate policy in China is under dispute, especially in agricultural sectors, as it is claimed that it works as a subsidy for foreign consumers rather than domestic producers. Surprisingly, little research has investigated the distribution of benefits of this policy. In this paper, we examine this in a partial equilibrium framework. We find that the effects of the export tax rebate on domestic producers depend on the relative magnitude of the export supply and import demand elasticities. The model is then applied to the Chinese fishery sector, a perfect example to illustrate the policy debate. Simulation results indicate that, although the export tax rebate increases Chinese producers’ welfare, foreign consumers capture most of its welfare benefits (60%-75%). Furthermore, the results imply that the welfare gain for Chinese producers is overestimated if vertical linkage between the retail and the farm markets is ignored.