Economists and the 2002 Farm Bill: What Is the Value-Added of Policy Analysis?

The 2002 Farm Act is used as a case study of three problematic considerations related to economists' role in policy issues: priority on economic efficiency versus income distribution, the role of benefit-cost analysis, and appropriate policies given market power of agribusiness. The results of the 2002 Act relevant to each of these issues have been widely criticized, raising questions about the effectiveness of economists' involvement. However, given the uncertainties about many key program effects, criticisms of the Act are themselves in question. In this context, the role of economists is seen analytically as generating information for Bayesian decision makers, and practically as gaining attention for that information in the political process.

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Journal Article
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Agricultural and Resource Economics Review, Volume 31, Number 2
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 Record created 2017-04-01, last modified 2017-04-04

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