И вот, наконец-то, банковские люди провели собственный анализ на примере Новой Зеландии - единственной развитой страны, которая совершила резкий скачок от сельскохозяйственного протекционизма и огромных субсидий фермерам к небывалой либерализации. Результаты - для настоящего экономиста оказались вполне предсказуемые, для публики в целом, включая подавляющую часть тех, кто считается экономистами - полнейший сюрприз. Сюрприз настолько неожиданный, что его просто игнорируют, не замечают, считают не существующим.
Box 3.6 Fewer subsidies, stronger agricultural sector
There is a strong belief among policymakers in OECD countries that trade reform in agriculture would destroy their rural communities and the agricultural sector. Yet, as the experience of one OECD country shows, protection and subsidies are not a necessary condition for the continued growth of the farm sector. Indeed, the removal of protection can be accompanied by faster agricultural growth and increases in productivity, achieved without a significant decline in the farming population or its standard of living.
Today, New Zealand has the lowest level of farm support among OECD countries—its producer support, estimated to be around 1 percent of the value of agricultural production, is primarily dedicated to research funding. This was not always the case. Producer support reached 33 percent of output in 1983, when almost 40 percent of the income of an average sheep or cattle farmer came from government subsidies. Yet, these policies were clearly unsustainable, as the loss of preferential access to the British market and an escalating inflation spiral led the government to abandon most payments to agricultural producers.
Government deregulation was quick and substantial. Nearly all subsidies were removed in 1984. The sectors involved included wheat, egg, milk, potatoes, honey, raspberries, hops, tobacco, apples, poultry, pork, and other meats. Altogether, almost 30 different production subsidies and export incentives were abolished (Bell and Elliott 1993). The government made only limited efforts to soften the impact on farmers; those who decided to exit the agricultural sector received a one-time “exit grant” of approximately two-thirds of annual income.
At the time, estimates pointed to 8,000 farms (10 percent of total) going out of business, prompting widespread opposition to the government’s plan. However, only 800 farms exited the market, and those that remained became more dynamic. Since Box 3.6 Fewer subsidies, stronger agricultural sector 1986–87, output of the agricultural sector has grown by more than 40 percent in constant terms. The share of farming in GDP rose from 14.2 percent in 1986–87 to 16.6 percent in 1999–2000, and growth in the farming sector has outpaced economic growth of New Zealand as a whole. The reform also prompted greater competition and lower input costs among suppliers, and brought environmental benefits through reduced waste. Although land values fell during late 1980s and early 1990s, they recovered during the later part of the decade. The share of rural population has remained constant since the abolition of subsidies.
Some of the most impressive effects of subsidy removal have been the changes in agricultural productivity. Since 1986, the annual average rate of productivity growth in agriculture has reached 5.9 percent, compared with 1 percent prior to subsidy abolition. The fact that total lamb production has increased while the number of sheep has declined by 29 percent attests to the increased efficiency of the sector. However, some studies, such as Morrison Paul, Johnston, and Frengley (2000), have questioned the positive effects of the reforms on productivity. The latter, using an unbalanced panel of 32 farms between 1969 and 1991, found that agricultural reform caused changes in the composition of output—a shift out of wool and lamb and into beef and deer—but did not affect technical efficiency. On the other hand, work using aggregate data, such as Kalaitzandonakes and Bredahl (1994), has confirmed improvements in technical efficiency following the reforms. Overall, the removal of support did not have a grave effect on New Zealand’s farmers. Instead, the policy of liberalization created a more vibrant, diversified, and sustainable rural economy in New Zealand.
Source: World Bank staff.