Risk Created by Policy in Agriculture

  • Bruce L. Gardner
Part of the Natural Resource Management and Policy book series (NRMP, volume 23)


The “Freedom to Farm” program of the 1996 FAIR Act has been criticized on the grounds that it provides inadequate measures to protect farmers from market price risks. The underlying assumption is that farm policy can and should reduce the risks farmers face by stabilizing prices and incomes. At the same time, as the 1995–96 debate leading up to the FAIR Act and the current debate about its continuation after 2002 show, policies themselves can prove unsustainable, can change unexpectedly, or can have unanticipated consequences that destabilize the farm economy. This chapter considers the issue of risks stemming from uncertainties about policies. The topic has been much less investigated than the stabilization role of policies, and the discussion to follow will accordingly be preliminary and tentative. Nonetheless, I will try to bring some empirical evidence as well as conceptual treatment of the subject to bear on the issues.


Capital Stock Poultry Litter Policy Risk Deadweight Loss Crop Insurance 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce L. Gardner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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