Homework 2

Homework 2 - Agricultural Policy AGB 312 Fall 2009 Homework...

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Page 1 of 4 Agricultural Policy AGB 312 Fall 2009 Homework 2: Agriculture and the Policy Process Due Thursday, October 8, at the beginning of class Part I 1. (5 points total) In class on 10/5, we discussed the role of different interest groups in the determination of agricultural policy. Although often it is difficult to explicitly link the efforts (contacts or spending) of any particular group to a specific policy, it is important to recognize the influence that various groups (other than just the voters) have on agricultural policy. Some agricultural economists have gone so far as to say that ALL agricultural policy arises from “rent-seeking behavior” (about powerful people getting money from the government), not for the various reasons we have discussed in class. Although they are not the only important group, formal lobbying groups (professional lobbyists or industry associations) are often important influences on policy. They draft language for legislation, provide analyses (not always objective, however) of policy issues and organize campaigns to communicate a group’s preferences to Congress and the USDA. Lobbying can take many forms, but when payments of money are involved, the government keeps some records on it. Similar to the Environmental Working Group’s “Farm Subsidy Database”, the Center for Responsive Politics has developed a summary database of expenditures by lobbyists (for all business areas, not just agriculture). For this question, go to their website: www.opensecrets.org/lobby/index.php , then answer the following questions: a. (1 point) What was the total amount of reported spending by all lobbyists in 2008 (an election year)? b. (1 point) Now, click on the link that says “Ranked Sectors” in the box with the heading “Lobbying” on the left-hand column of the page. How much spending was reported by “agribusiness” lobbyists during the 1998-2009 time period?
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This note was uploaded on 12/06/2009 for the course AGB 1116 taught by Professor Hamilton during the Winter '09 term at Cal Poly.

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Homework 2 - Agricultural Policy AGB 312 Fall 2009 Homework...

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