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Do Direct Payments Distort Producers' Decisions? An Examination of the Farm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002

Erik O'Donoghue and James B. Whitaker

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, 2010, vol. 32, issue 1, 170-193

Abstract: Do direct payments alter operators' acreage decisions? The authors use an event study with individual-level data in a panel-data setting to examine how an exogenous change in direct payments affects individual farmers' production decisions. They track changes in acreage across time and examine whether an exogenous, government implemented Act that allowed farmers to update base acres altered individual operators' acreage decisions. Results suggest that direct payments do change individual acreage decisions, ranging from approximately 44 to 78 acre increases (9 to 16% changes). Their results have no implications for aggregate production impacts. Copyright 2010, Oxford University Press.

Date: 2010
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Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy is currently edited by Timothy Park, Tomislav Vukina and Ian Sheldon

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