AGRICULTURE AND THE STATE: MARKET PROCESSES AND BUREAUCRACY

This paper_considers the politi_cal econ~my of agriculture and the implications for economic analysis. In doing so, four topics are ad~ ressed. First, problems o~ pi:ivat~ choice are c?ntras!ed with_ those encountered in collective choice. Second, the "market failure" ra! 10nale for govern~ent red1~tnbut10~ progr~ms m agnculture 1s contrasted with "rent seeking". Third, implications of information and •?cen~1ve p~blems inherent m ~ollecllve ch~1ce are e~lored. ~e subjective nature of cost is shown to be important in economic regulation, mclud1n~ cost of produc!1on as a basis for agncultural price supports. Finally, the results of the analysis are related to the work agenda of agncul!ural econom_ists. The Robbin_sian maximization approach is contrasted with radical subjectivism. If information about mea~s and ends ~s assumed given,. the economic proble~ ~ecomcs computational. The challenge is to develop economic analyses that proVIde ~ore s_at1sfactol):' explan_a!1ons of human behaVIor m a world of uncertainty, where outcomes of plans differ from predictions. ~on_o~ic efficiency stud1_es tra_d111onally have ~ocuse~ on outcomes of the market process. However, since costs and benefits arc subjectiv~, 11 IS argued th~t effic_iency 1s more appropnatel_Y Judged by_the process through which transactions are carried out than by the results. lnsights from public choice theory and neo-Austrian economics are held to be important in improving the institutional framework in public policy analysis.


Issue Date:
1990-12-1990-12-1990-12
Publication Type:
Journal Article
ISSN:
0303-1853
Language:
English
Published in:
Agrekon, Volume 29, Issue 4
Page range:
235-242




 Record created 2018-01-29, last modified 2018-01-30

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