About the BookAgricultural Policy in Disarray provides fascinating, detailed, and contemporary evidence of how rent-seeking by small, well-organized interest groups results in government policies that do little good and much harm.
Book SynopsisFrom any coherent policy perspective, agricultural policy in the United States is in total disarray. Not surprisingly, persistent and pervasive rent-seeking by well-funded lobbies explains many of the complex and often internally inconsistent federal programs that fall under the umbrella of US agricultural policy. This two-volume examination of US agricultural policies includes analyses on the federal crop insurance program, the sugar program, constraints on domestic production, and policy-mandated price discrimination. Those subsidy programs and other forms of support are deliberately structured to funnel the vast majority of their benefits to large farm businesses and, in the case of agricultural insurance, an entire segment of the insurance industry that would not otherwise exist. They do nothing to alleviate rural poverty and in most cases encourage farm and other agricultural businesses to waste some of society's scarce resources. Some federal programs do provide benefits for society as a whole. However, collusion among lobbies with competing interests has caused many of those programs to be inefficient. Agricultural Policy in Disarray provides fascinating, detailed, and contemporary evidence of how rent-seeking by small, well-organized interest groups results in government policies that do little good and much harm.
About the AuthorVincent H. Smith is professor of economics in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Economics at Montana State University (MSU), codirector of MSU's Agricultural Marketing Policy Center, and a visiting scholar and director of Agricultural Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute. Joseph W. Glauber is a senior research fellow at the International Food Policy Research Institute and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Barry K. Goodwin is William Neal Reynolds Distinguished Professor of Agricultural Economics at North Carolina State University and a visiting scholar at the American Enterprise Institute.