The Search for Smart Governance in Agriculture and Natural Resources
Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Forthcoming
26 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2021
Date Written: July 09, 2021
We draw on previous positive political-economic models, which explain the seeming disjointedness of observed agricultural and resource policies to develop prescriptive implications that can be actively pursued by a smart government. Smart governments would design and implement a portfolio of both public-good policies (PERTs) and distortionary, redistributive policies (PESTs). Of particular importance in this process is the structuring of smart PESTs that dynamically complement the introduction and adoption of PERT policies. We emphasize the role of smart policy mixes on asset mobility and diversification, both of which lead to more evenly distributed political-economic power and reduced incentives for future rent-seeking. We examine three illustrative examples where a political-economic, portfolio approach could aid in resolving ‘wicked’ social problems and point toward a portfolio of complementary policy prescriptions for sustainable economic growth. Smart governments design and implement portfolios of complementary public goods and redistributive policies simultaneously. We conclude with the characteristics of a smart government and the core principles of sound policy analyses.
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation