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ON THE FOUNDATION OF AGRICULTURAL POLICY RESEARCH IN THE UNITED STATES

Henrik Zobbe

No 28644, Staff Papers from Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics

Abstract: This paper identifies three scientific research programs in agricultural economics. The farm management approach (1870-1933), the farm problem approach (1933-1982) and the domestic and global welfare approach (1982-). In respect to agricultural policy research two competitive research programs developed out of the farm crisis of the 1920s. One program argued for government intervention in agriculture. The other argued for intervention in the general economy. The former program degenerated during the 1970s because of countervailing empirical evidence and a change in the understanding of positive economics. The latter program stayed progressive by adding the international dimension and by applying welfare economic analysis. Two other important factors influenced the development of agricultural policy. First, the unique institutional set up of the land grant system in which agricultural economics was founded as an applied science with a bias to help farmers. Second, the convergence of agricultural economics towards general economics that shifted the approach from applied to basic.

Keywords: Agricultural; and; Food; Policy (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2002
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:ags:puaesp:28644

DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.28644

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