米生産調整県別配分の公共選択論的分析 [in Japanese] Allocation of Set-Aside Acreages among Prefectures in the Rice Production Control Program in Japan from the Viewpoint of the Public Choice Theory [in Japanese]
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It is not uncommon in developed countries that the government conducts a crop set-aside program to resolve an over-production problem. What is characteristic in the Japanese rice set-aside program is that the program is imposed under the condition that the subsidy for farmers who convert their paddies to other uses is not sufficient to compensate for the gap between the income from rice production and that from converted uses. Another feature is that the imposed acreage to be set aside among prefectures is unevenly allocated by bureaucratic discretion.<br>The purpose of this paper is to examine the political process of the allocations among prefectures in Japan's rice set-aside program, focusing on the political power balance between bureaucratic discretion and political demands from interest groups which derive from farmers' remonstrance against the burden of this program. A model was proposed and then empirically tested. Two major findings of this study are as follows:<br>First, in the multi-regression model, explanatory variables representing the degree of farmers' remonstrance were mostly significant from 1987 to 1998. Consequently, allocations among prefectures tend to be affected in the direction inversely proportionate to the degree of farmers' grievances. Before this period, it is suggested that the power of bureaucrats' discretion was decisive, while after this period, the policy of incorporating the supply-and-demand condition into the allocation may reflect the decrease of explanatory power of the model.<br>Second, it is also demonstrated that various factors which are publicly announced as those used in the calculation of allocation have held little explanatory power in the model. This suggests that those factors were announced to be considered in the allocation formula in name only, virtually being given little importance.
- Journal of Rural Economics
Journal of Rural Economics 78(3), 130-149, 2006
The Agricultural Economics Society of Japan