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Abstract

Because people tend to compare themselves with others from their own surroundings, even a person rich in absolute terms can feel poor in relative terms, if people from their reference group are richer. This phenomenon is called relative deprivation. Farmers in developed economies claim to be poor, because they compare themselves not with farmers from poor economies, but rather with other members of their own society who work outside of agriculture and whose incomes are usually higher. Feeling relatively deprived, farmers in developed economies demand stronger financial support and act intensively to convince policymakers to support them. The main aim of this paper is to analyze the relation between relative deprivation of farmers and support for farmers in countries with different development levels. Results of this study prove that levels of support for farmers are positively related with the average level of relative deprivation of farmers dependent on the size of farmer groups. Hence the idea of relative deprivation might provide additional political explanation of different levels of support for farmers in countries with different development levels.

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