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The Structure of Lobbying and Protection in U.S. Agriculture

59 Pages Posted: 17 Oct 2005  

Kishore Gawande

McCombs School of Business, UT Austin

Date Written: September 2005


This paper surveys the empirical literature on the political economy of agricultural protection. A detailed data set of agricultural PAC (Political Action Committee) contributions over five U.S. congressional election cycles over the 1991-2000 period is used to investigate the relationship between lobbying spending and agricultural protection. A detailed graphical analysis of campaign contributions by the agricultural PACs indicates that although there are very many PACs, in most sectors the majority of contributions are made by very few PACs. Econometric analysis reveals that lobbying spending by agricultural PACs is positively associated with the use of nontariff barriers and specific tariffs by the US; there is a strong association between the average US tariff on goods that benefit from US export subsidies and lobbying spending; and no association between agricultural protection and trade measures such as import penetration and the export-to-output ratio.

Keywords: Lobbying, PACs, Political Economy, Agricultural Protection

JEL Classification: F13, Q18, D72

Suggested Citation

Gawande, Kishore, The Structure of Lobbying and Protection in U.S. Agriculture (September 2005). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 3722. Available at SSRN:

Kishore Gawande (Contact Author)

McCombs School of Business, UT Austin ( email )

Austin, TX 78712
United States

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