The central thesis developed in this paper is that snapshot views of the global measures of agricultural support mask what is really happening in U.S. and E.U. agricultural policies. We demonstrate that American and European farmers are effectively protected from market risk by these policies. The level of PSE is largely determined by the level of world price. Most economists do not pay much attention to the role of agricultural policies in income stability. Yet farm income stability is clearly a prime objective of government policy both in the E.U. and the U.S. and probably elsewhere. We need to turn out attention to this objective if we are to produce policy analysis relevant to real world policy decisions.


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