The Political Economy of Controls: American Sugar
65 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2004 Last revised: 7 May 2021
Date Written: February 1988
This paper outlines the salient characteristics of competing models of economic regulation and controls. It then examines the evolution of the American sugar program from 1934 to 1987 in the light of these models. While lobbying and other features of traditional models were clearly important, other elements also played a key role. In particular, a technocracy developed, and complexity of regulation served as an important factor perpetuating the sugar program. Similarly, lobbying and the role of vested interests was clearly important in the evolution of the program once it began but there was an element of ?accident? in the programs initiation. Once it existed, it became an instrument to be captured and used by politicians, technocrats, and economic interests alike.
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