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Focus on the political economy of protection

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Effectiveness of Farmers Organisations in Shaping Reform Processes Carmen Suarez Senior Economist NFU. Focus on the political economy of protection Market inflexibility and difficulty in undertaking redistribution  pressure groups opposing liberalisation

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Effectiveness of Farmers Organisations in Shaping Reform ProcessesCarmen SuarezSenior EconomistNFU

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Focus on the political economy of protection
  • Market inflexibility and difficulty in undertaking redistribution  pressure groups opposing liberalisation
  • Policies are not set by the median voter preferences (assumed to be free trade)
  • Existence of a market for protection
market for protection
Market for protection
  • Demand

Farmers’ organisations (vs. other interest groups)

  • Supply – politicians and public bureaucrats (both at the EU and national level)
demand for protection
Demand for Protection
  • Lower costs of demanding protection would lead to higher incentive to lobby (as it makes lobbying more profitable)
demanding protection in the agricultural sector
Demanding protection in the agricultural sector
  • How does it compare with other interest groups?
    • Relatively easy to organise
    • Low incidence of ‘free riding’
    • Engaging other groups in society
supply of protection
Supply of Protection
  • Government

Re-election constraints (but not at EU level)

Budgetary constraints

  • Public Administration – link with their ‘clientele’
future trends
Future Trends
  • ‘History does matter’ but up to a point
  • Social changes
  • Other ‘clientele’
  • Adapting to changes
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