By Hartwig De Haen, Glenn L. Johnson
Read or Download Agriculture and International Relations: Analysis and Policy : Essays in Memory of Theodor Heidhues PDF
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Additional info for Agriculture and International Relations: Analysis and Policy : Essays in Memory of Theodor Heidhues
A. A PRECURSOR In his book Government and Agriculture, written almost 20 years ago, Hathaway's purpose is clearly expressed in his Preface where he writes: 'This is intended to be a book about agricultural policy in the United States since World War II. It is done with the belief that policy can be understood only if one understands the forces that underlie it and the processes that produce it ••• '. Thus 'we can understand better the policies being followed; and we can understand better why it is that some other po1icy'- which may look more desirable to us was not chosen'.
Why is a particular group able to enforce its own values? But Hathaway's analysis is sufficiently convincing to justify his approach. One major aspect should be of critical concern to economists: the model of political behaviour used by Hathaway is 'a rejection of the concept that (the political process) is essentially and largely a process which derives the common interest or the public good'. Thus if this model is to be accepted, economists must probably discard their concept of a social welfare or utility function.
Heidhues used this method and took first steps in order to solve the aggregation problem. In this respect, he was successfull in closing the gaps between micro- resp. macro-based analysis and prognosis, as well as in creating the foundations of the analysis of alternative instruments of price and income policies. At the same time, Heidhues pointed at problems which even today have not been solved. These he saw especially in the insufficient recognition of intersectoral interdependence, especially from the point of view of aggregation.