When Will Pork Leave the Farm? Institutional Bias in Japan and the United States

41 Pages Posted: 14 Jul 2008

See all articles by Michael F. Thies

Michael F. Thies

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Department of Political Science

Date Written: 1998

Abstract

All industrialized countries have seen their populations "urbanize" over time. In democracies, this demographic trend ought to have ramifications for politics and policy. In this paper, I examine the effects of urbanization on agricultural subsidy programs in Japan and the United States. I show that even after malapportionment was dealt with, rural retrenchment was delayed by the balance of power within the majority party in each country. In Japan, once urban members constituted a majority within the ruling party in the House of Representatives, government policy changed quickly and dramatically. In the U.S., powerful House committees and permanent rural over-representation in the U.S. Senate delayed policy change much longer than was true in Japan, which has no similar institutional impediments.

Suggested Citation

Thies, Michael F., When Will Pork Leave the Farm? Institutional Bias in Japan and the United States (1998). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1158649 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1158649

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