The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Johnson, D. Gale (1917–2003)

  • John M. Antle
Reference work entry


D. Gale Johnson, an intellectual leader in agricultural economics in the mid- to late 20th century, was an early critic of the parity price concept. His case against agricultural subsidies helped bring agricultural trade policy into the international policy arena. Johnson was a long-time observer of the Soviet Union and Chinese agricultural reforms. His analysis showed that investment in agricultural research, including biotechnology, primarily benefited the poor through lower real food prices. He argued that market and policy failures, not population growth, were the root causes of environmental problems in developing countries.

JEL Classifications



Agricultural economics Agricultural growth and population change Agricultural markets in developing countries Agricultural research Agricultural subsidies Agricultural trade policy American Economic Association American Farm Economic Association Biotechnology regulation Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) Johnson, D. Gale National Research Council (US) Parity pricing Population growth Price support Property rights Share contracts 
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  2. Hoover, D., and P. Johnson. 1996. D. Gale Johnson’s contribution to agricultural economics. In The economics of agriculture, vol. 2: Papers in honor of D. Gale Johnson, ed. J. Antle and D. Sumner. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  3. National Research Council. 1986. Population growth and economic development: Policy questions. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.Google Scholar
  4. Sumner, D., J. Antle, and B. Gardner. 2004. Contributions of D. Gale Johnson to the economics of agriculture. Economic Development and Cultural Change 52: 659–679.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • John M. Antle
    • 1
  1. 1.