The Search for Smart Governance in Agriculture and Natural Resources

Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Forthcoming

26 Pages Posted: 17 Aug 2021

See all articles by Gordon C. Rausser

Gordon C. Rausser

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

William Foster

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Department of Agricultural Economics

David Zilberman

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics

Date Written: July 09, 2021

Abstract

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

Rausser, Gordon C. and Foster, William and Zilberman, David, The Search for Smart Governance in Agriculture and Natural Resources (July 09, 2021). Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3890476 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3890476

Gordon C. Rausser (Contact Author)

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics ( email )

207 Giannini Hall no. 3310
Berkeley, CA 94720
United States
510-642-6591 (Phone)
510-643-0287 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://are.berkeley.edu/~rausser/

William Foster

Pontifical Catholic University of Chile - Department of Agricultural Economics ( email )

Av Libertador General Bernardo O'Higgins 340
Santiago, Región Metropolitana 8331150
Chile

David Zilberman

University of California, Berkeley - Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics ( email )

Berkeley, CA 94720
United States

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