AGRONOMY 350 Chapter 18 - 19: 18 - 19

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University of Wisconsin - Madison
Kyle Stiegert

Chapter 18 • The objective of population policy o Most often it is aimed at decreasing fertility to lower costs and burden of more people ▪ Some countries with very low fertility have adopted pro-natalist policies • Preconditions for a successful policy to reduce fertility o Promote basic understanding that fertility decisions are made by parents o Give parents and incentive to control fertility o Give parents access to contraceptive technology • Models of fertility decisions o Demographer’s model = old age security – how many kids needed to support parents in old age ▪ Accounts for child mortality o Economic model = costs/benefits of childbearing • Policies that give parents an incentive to have fewer children o Can use incentives to encourage low fertility or disincentives to discourage high fertility ▪ Ex: taking money out of retirement funds to pay for mandated childcare costs ▪ Incentives tend to be more expensive, so disincentives are preferred • Policies that allow parents to have less children o Family planning and contraception access • Policies that work in multiple ways to reduce fertility o Policies that produce economic growth o Policies that encourage the empowerment of women • The complementarity of fertility reduction policies o Fertility reduction programs often go hand in hand with undernutrition programs (ex: breastfeeding initiatives) Chapter 19 • Rationale for Explicit Food Subsidies o Agricultural surplus, hunger, preference for giving food over cash, preference for larger economic impact of subsidies over direct cash • Food subsidies in Asia o Sri Lanka ▪ During WWII Sri Lanka subsidized the price of rice but rationed quantity to each consumer • Price of the program became too high so an increase in the price of rice was implemented – led to protests o Price was decreased but rations became smaller • Ration system eventually targeted to low income to make sure those who were hungry were getting rice o Led to a switch to food stamps o Bangladesh ▪ Had a complex system of food rationing, control of imports, food-for-work, etc. • Rationing program poorly targeted – those who didn’t need food were getting it o India ▪ Government purchases food grains and sells them at a loss through government stores to qualified low income people • Government bought too much food, causing higher prices o Philippines ▪ An experiment that tested 7 very low income villages between 7 control villages where the low-income villages were subsidized • Food consumption increased with subsidy especially among adults • Food Subsidies in Africa o Egypt ▪ Has a long history of food subsidies with the government carrying a strong portion of the cost ▪ Has a market wide subsidy that keeps food prices low
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