Cover image for Policy reform in American agriculture : analysis and prognosis
Policy reform in American agriculture : analysis and prognosis
Orden, David.
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Publication Information:
Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
xiii, 270 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
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Table of Contents
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HD1761 .O67 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Despite substantial transformations in American agriculture, farm program spending remains a closely guarded prerogative of United States agricultural policy. Policy Reform in American Agriculture examines both the history of farm subsidies and the contemporary relevance of traditional farm programs to today's agricultural industries.

This work analyzes the mixed performance of past agricultural support programs, reviews the current debate concerning farm policies, and critically assesses the often staunch political resistance to much-needed policy reforms. Casting a keen eye toward the most recent developments on both national and international fronts, the authors consider the ramifications of the 1996 Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform (FAIR) Act as well as multilateral efforts to gain agricultural reform during the Uruguay Round of GATT. Their prognosis hinges upon both the continued growth and competitiveness of the world market and, perhaps more importantly, the ongoing commitment of congressional reform advocates.

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Economists Orden (Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ.) and Roe (Univ. of Minnesota) and political scientist Paarlberg (Wellesley College) analyze the success and failures of traditional US farm policy, suggest alternative policies that would perform more efficiently, and discuss the politics of reform. Chapter 1 outlines the history of farm policy, while chapter 2 deals with the politics of farm policy reform, specifically why existing policies are so resistant to change. Chapter 3 discusses international attempts at reform, with particular attention to GATT. Subsequent chapters examine the historical background and economic impact of the Federal Agriculture Improvements and Reform (FAIR) Act of 1996 and consider possible directions of future farm policy reform. Throughout their analysis the authors evaluate farm policies with the help of four alternative policy reform strategies, differentiated by speed of implementation and compensation of farmers. In the concluding chapter they identify the most effective strategy so far to be the "cash out" strategy, which gradually replaces market intervention with direct payments to farmers. They propose that this strategy should be continued for a time, followed eventually by the uncompensated "squeeze out" of farm subsidies. This study of US agricultural policy is recommended for economic and political science collections, upper-division undergraduate through professional. M. Morgan-Davie; SUNY College at Oneonta

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Tables
Introduction: The Political Problem of Farm Policy Reform
1 New Deal Policies and a Changing Farm Sector
2 Unilateral Postwar Reforms
3 Seeking Reform by International Negotiations
4 The 1996 FAIR Act
5 The Political Economy of the FAIR Act
6 The Uncertain Future of Farm Policy Conclusion: Ending Farm Subsidies
Appendix Summary of the FAIR Act
Name Index
Subject Index