David Blandford is a Professor of Agricultural and Environmental Economics, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA. E-mail: email@example.com for correspondence. The author is grateful for helpful discussions on the issues addressed in this article with David Harvey and Jim Shortle. He also thanks Richard Boisvert and Susan Offutt for suggestions on improving the article. None of these individuals should be blamed for any remaining errors or the opinions expressed.
Presidential Address: The Visible or Invisible Hand? The Balance Between Markets and Regulation in Agricultural Policy
Article first published online: 12 AUG 2010
© 2010 The Author. Journal compilation © 2010 The Agricultural Economics Society
Journal of Agricultural Economics
Volume 61, Issue 3, pages 459–479, September 2010
How to Cite
Blandford, D. (2010), Presidential Address: The Visible or Invisible Hand? The Balance Between Markets and Regulation in Agricultural Policy. Journal of Agricultural Economics, 61: 459–479. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-9552.2010.00261.x
- Issue published online: 12 AUG 2010
- Article first published online: 12 AUG 2010
- collective action;
- decision making;
- environmental policy;
- natural resources
The recent crisis in global financial markets has brought into question reliance on markets to determine the conduct of economic affairs and generated pressure for greater regulation and government control. Neither a neoliberal nor a neoregulatory approach is likely to be able to solve pressing problems affecting agriculture and natural resources, such as a deterioration in environmental quality and the challenge of climate change. To find solutions we need to employ a more realistic behavioural model than that typically used in economic analysis, and to recognise the key role played by values in individual and collective decision making. A more devolved approach to policy formation based on collective action seems to offer the greatest chance of success. More effort needs to be directed to understanding the drivers and processes of collective decision making, and how it can be harnessed to address pressing policy issues.