Date of Award

Summer 8-2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Political Science & Geography


Graduate Program in International studies

Committee Director

David C. Earnest

Committee Member

Peter Schulman

Committee Member

David Selover

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.I45 C67 2012


Through various waves of reform, the European Union's Common Agricultural Policy remains inefficient without meeting all of its stated goals. The MacSherry reforms of 1992 resulted in the opposite of what leaders intended: higher spending and a growing bureaucracy. Later in the 1990s, Agenda 2000 slashed its originally planned cutbacks after farmers protested. Though support exists for reducing spending on agriculture, market intervention remains.

This thesis explores the problem through the use of public choice theory. -Consumers make too large a group to organize effectively or inform themselves about the issue, while farmers consist of a smaller group with well-defined interests. Because they cannot get as much income as they would wish from the market, farmers engage in rent-seeking behavior in hopes of receiving income from the state. Due to their smaller size, . they find ease in organization, giving them a better bargaining position than consumers when it comes to lobbying for agricultural subsidies.


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