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Impact of farm protectionism on the use of agricultural inputs in Chile

Gabriel PinoUniversidad de Talca, Facultad de Economía y Negocios, Av. Lircay s/n, Talca

Ariel Soto-CaroUniversidad de Concepción, Escuela de Administración y Negocios. Vicente Méndez 595, Chillán


Despite evidence highlighting the multiple benefits that liberalization can have in the agricultural sector, agricultural protectionism is abundant, especially in developing countries. Chile provides an interesting case on this topic because it implemented an aggressive liberalization in the agricultural sector during the 1970s and 1980s. This paper analyzes the impact of farm protectionism on the use of agricultural inputs in Chile. To do this, we estimated partial elasticities of substitution by incorporating government protectionism as a factor for agricultural production. Our findings reveal that increased protectionism decreases agricultural labor and promotes the use of fixed capital. In contrast, protectionism has no effect on the use of working capital and land. This information shows a clear transference from the government to farmers. Furthermore, our results are useful for anticipating the effects that varying levels of government protectionism can have on the Chilean agricultural sector over time.

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