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Power, Privilege, and Special Interests: Rent Seeking and Subsidies in Agriculture

Matt Bogard, Western Kentucky University

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Completed as part of the Master of Science Seminar in Agriculture (Emphasis in Agricultural and Applied Economics), Department of Agriculture. Western Kentucky University (2003)

Abstract

This presentation covers what Public Choice economists refer to as ‘rent seeking,’ generally seeking favor or special privilege from government through subsidies or regulatory advantages. Particularly, the biotech industry is the area of focus for this presentation. Problems with rent seeking in the biotech industry involve less innovation and industry consolidation. Policies related to biotech regulation, school lunch programs, the Clean Air Act, and ethanol subsidies are discussed. A game theoretic approach is used and it is concluded that issues related to rent seeking and special interests are not adequately addressed by recent campaign finance reform efforts. Alternatives such as constitutional restraint and super majority voting requirements are discussed.

Suggested Citation

Matt Bogard. "Power, Privilege, and Special Interests: Rent Seeking and Subsidies in Agriculture" Agriculture Department Seminar Series.. Jan. 2003.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/matt_bogard/4