Analyses of proposed policy changes often include three phases. First, the effect on the market is shown. Then the groups that gain and loose are identified. Finally, applied economists often quantify the benefits and costs, using methods such as supply and demand estimates from statistical studies of the market. Quantification draws criticism sometimes, because this process is imprecise. The criticism may take the form of "this is not a problem" or "it's not possible to answer these questions". However, decisions made with imprecise information are probably better than decisions that are avoided because there is no information, or decisions that are made in spite of the lack of information.
Benefit-cost studies are beginning to appear in the analyses of the agricultural policy problems Eastern European countries. But there is still a lot to do. Below I review a few problems in the agricultural sectors in Czech Lands and Slovakia: In each case, I show how a proposed policy would affect the market and identify the benefits and costs. Then I explain how benefits might be quantified in further research. The problems considered below are the association agreements with the European Community in the trade area, the food security problem in the domestic policy area, and the employment policy of agricultural firms in the transition area.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/paul-gallagher/42/