By M. J. Stabler (auth.)
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Extra resources for Agricultural Economics and Rural Land-use
The question which can be raised here is whether changes introduce uncertainty into agriculture. The answer is that policy changes which indirectly affect agriculture certainly do, but devices in existing agricultural legislation, at least in the United Kingdom and to some extent in the United States, make for stability because they are designed to allow for gradual changes only. In the United Kingdom relatively short-run policies, indirectly connected with agriculture, to combat inflation have affected external trade so that the prices of imported agricultural inputs has fluctuated, but direct 44 policies, such as guaranteed prices under agricultural legislation can be changed by only very small percentages over time.
Rocessing and distribution. The study of margins reveals that the percentage of the final price of commodities accruing to the farmer has steadily declined. The inference, then, is that processing and distributive margins have increased, but there is no evidence to support this argument. There is a wealth of data in the United States on margins at the various stages of distribution and a number of studies have been undertaken in the United Kingdom on particular markets, notably meat, eggs, and milk , , , .
First, the contribution of agriculture to economic growth and second, on social or political grounds. For example, in the United Kingdom there are arguments in favour of maintaining farming income on social grounds, and to expand agricultural production, because of its import-saving role, on political grounds. Questions such as these are only answerable if, again, estimates are made of efficiency and the opportunity cost of the resources in agriculture. ) In industrial economies the conflict on agriculture's role in contributing to economic growth has been conducted on two fronts.
Agricultural Economics and Rural Land-use by M. J. Stabler (auth.)