Should the United States continue to pursue free trade agreements? A socio-economic perspective. (189)


  • E. M. Tavernier Department of Agricultural Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University
  • A. Yadavalli Department of Agricultural Food and Resource Economics, Rutgers University; Purdue University


trade barriers, free trade agreements


This paper examines from the perspective of New Jersey agricultural producers, whether the US should continue to pursue trade agreements. The study uses data from the 2005 National Agricultural Food and Public Policy Preference Survey. Twenty seven states participated in the survey. The New Jersey component of survey was mailed to 700 randomly selected farm operators. This number represents approximately 7% of all the farm operators in the state. A total of 162 farm operators responded to the survey, giving a response rate of 23%. The paper hypothesizes that farm and ranch operator preferences regarding trade agreements are influenced by such factors as age, farm sales, income, education, and tenure or duration of farm ownership. In particular the paper hypothesizes that there exists a positive relationship between those variables and the free trade variable. To test that hypothesis the paper uses logistic regression. The results show a positive relationship between the dependent variable and age, tenure, income and education but a negative relationship between the dependent variable and sales. The negative relationship with sales is surprising. The authors conjecture that the recent trade pact between the U.S. and Colombia is being greeted with some apprehension by respondents.



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