OECD Economics Department Working Papers

Working papers from the Economics Department of the OECD that cover the full range of the Department’s work including the economic situation, policy analysis and projections; fiscal policy, public expenditure and taxation; and structural issues including ageing, growth and productivity, migration, environment, human capital, housing, trade and investment, labour markets, regulatory reform, competition, health, and other issues.

The views expressed in these papers are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the OECD or of the governments of its member countries.

English, French

The So-Called "Non-Economic" Objectives of Agricultural Policy

Agricultural support costs OECD countries billions of dollars per year in lost income. It is frequently argued, however, that this is not waste, but is rather a fair price to pay for a number of "non-economic" objectives such as thriving rural communities and increased national security. This paper analyses these objectives and their relationship with agricultural policy. It draws three conclusions: first, the so-called non-economic objectives (SNOs) are, in fact, economic; second, being economic they are amenable to quantification and economic analysis; and, third, present forms of agricultural support may be inefficient means to achieve these objectives ...


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