Agricultural Policy Review


FARM BILL programs run the gamut from crop insurance to conservation, from invasive species control to nutrition subsidies, from agricultural research to commodity subsidies. These programs fall into two broad categories. Some, such as the nutrition programs, commodity programs, and the crop insurance program have an objective of redistributing income from taxpayers to speciβic groups of people. Others, such as agricultural research, conservation, and food inspection programs have an objective of improving economic efβiciency by providing goods and services that the private sector under- provides, or by mitigating undesirable market outcomes. The key decision that the Senate and House Agricultural Committees will need to make in the 2018 Farm Bill is how to split up a βixed amount of funds between redistributive programs and those that improve efβiciency.