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China’s Agricultural Policy Transition: Impacts of Recent Reforms and Future Scenarios

Wusheng Yu () and Hans Jensen ()

Journal of Agricultural Economics, 2010, vol. 61, issue 2, 343-368

Abstract: This article reviews recent developments in China’s agricultural domestic support policy, especially the transition from taxing farmers and agriculture to providing direct subsidies to grain production and purchased inputs. A model‐based quantitative analysis on the effects of these policy changes is presented. Simulation results suggest that recent policy changes have achieved the declared policy goals of increasing grain production and boosting farm income. Much of the increase in grain production and farm income can be attributed to higher per unit return to arable land, land reallocation to grain production and extra agricultural employment triggered by the policy changes. Based on the assumption that China’s public assistance to agriculture and farmers will continue and rise, two hypothetical future scenarios are simulated. Using all the support permitted under WTO de minimis limits with existing instruments, China’s policy will increase grain production, change trade patterns seemingly contrary to China’s comparative advantage, increase rural employment and significantly increase farm income (by more than 12%). If, however, decoupled instruments are applied to raise China’s agricultural domestic support to the same level, China’s agricultural production and trade will remain unchanged, rural employment remain stable, but farm income will be increased by nearly 15%.

Date: 2010
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Handle: RePEc:bla:jageco:v:61:y:2010:i:2:p:343-368