The paper evaluates the transfer efficiency of the Austrian bread grain policy taking into account distributive leakages, i.e. how much of the transfers officially intended to support farm income are finally realised in the upstream and downstream industries. Gardner's [Am. J. Agric. Econ. 65 (1983) 225] well-known measure of average transfer efficiency (ATE) is augmented for the case of more than two social groups and computer-intensive simulation procedures are utilised to deal with parameter uncertainty. © 2003 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.