Primary Producer Welfare Following a Policy Paradigm Shift: A Review of the Deregulation of the Australian Wheat Market
From a market strongly supported by a statutory grain marketing scheme, aimed at stabilising inherent market instability and protecting the financial and social welfare of primary grain producers, the Australian wheat market is now subject to a vastly different market policy structure. The sectoral policy paradigms of the Australian wheat sector have shifted from a state-assisted market paradigm to a market-liberal paradigm, which promotes competition and efficiency over government intervention. With this shift, the market has seen the emergence of a deregulated oligopolistic market structure, which facilitated the conversion of the statutory marketing scheme’s domestic and export monopoly onto the six large-scale corporations which currently possess the majority of the sector’s market power. With the rise of an oligopolistic market structure it is evident that there has been a significant disruption to primary producer welfare. Through understanding the scope and impact of this disruption it is possible to analyse the effect of the policy paradigm shift in regard to the economic and social welfare of Australian primary grain producers.
KeywordsDeregulation Agricultural policy Primary producer welfare Australian wheat
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