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This paper analyzes the tradeoffs present between equity and efficiency in farm policy. In terms of equity, we are concerned with the implications of policies on the distribution of income. For efficiency we consider how the profitability of farms is impacted by the same government policies. Specifically of interest will be the relative contributions of direct payments, commodity payments, and conservation payments to each of these measures. Results show that relative to direct payments commodity payments are more efficient (in terms of increasing average farm profitability) but less equitable (large farmers dominate the income gains). Conservation payments are found to be both less equitable and efficient relative to direct payments. We identify segmentation of the farm household population as a limitation of the analysis with respect to measuring impacts of conservation payments.


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