Efficiency of Decoupled Farm Programs under Distortionary Taxation

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1994-03-01
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Moschini, GianCarlo
Sckokai, Paolo
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Moschini, Giancarlo
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Center for Agricultural and Rural Development

The Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD) conducts innovative public policy and economic research on agricultural, environmental, and food issues. CARD uniquely combines academic excellence with engagement and anticipatory thinking to inform and benefit society.

CARD researchers develop and apply economic theory, quantitative methods, and interdisciplinary approaches to create relevant knowledge. Communication efforts target state and federal policymakers; the research community; agricultural, food, and environmental groups; individual decision-makers; and international audiences.

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When lump-sum taxation is not feasible, decoupled transfers to farmers (which require raising government revenue) will entail welfare loss somewhere in the economy. Assuming the government's objective is to assure a given welfare level for farmers, we show that when decoupling is possible, free trade is always superior to some tariff protection for a small country, even under Distortionary taxation. As expected, for a large country there is scope for an optimal tariff policy that improves the terms of trade. However, we show a separation between the exercise of market power through an optimal tariff, and the interaction of Distortionary taxation with transfers to farmers. We conclude that decoupling is usually desirable, even in a distorted economy in which lump-sum taxation is not feasible.

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Sat Jan 01 00:00:00 UTC 1994
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