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Abstract

Distributional analysis is employed to assess the ethical acceptability of agricultural policy along plurastic moral criteria. Using 1999 micro-data from USDA ARMS survey and the Federal Reserve's Survey of Consumer Finances, we discuss policy performance (measured as the effect of direct government payments on the distribution of incomes and profits) relative to policy goals. We show that current programs only minimally address the post-?farm problem? objective of providing a safety net, and the goal of providing an abundant supply of agricultural products is potentially well-implemented given institutional constraints.

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