Sunday, November 05, 2006

Stiglitz on Cotton Subsidies

Joe Stiglitz objects--as do most other economists--to government subsidies to U.S. cotton producers:
Without subsidies, it would not pay for Americans to produce much cotton; with them, the US is the world’s largest cotton exporter. Some 25,000 rich American cotton farmers divide $3 to $4 billion in subsidies among themselves – with most of the money going to a small fraction of the recipients. The increased supply depresses cotton prices, hurting some 10 million farmers in sub-Saharan Africa alone.