The political economy of Argentina in the XX and early XXI century has been characterized by the difficulty of establishing a sustainable path of balanced and integrated development due to the social, economic, and political conflict between rural and urban, agriculture and industry, high class versus low class, Radical or Justicialist party supporters which generated stop and go cycles. This Dissertation analyzes the political economy of agriculture and food policies in Argentina during the first decade of the XXI century through a conceptual framework that takes into account politics, policies, economics and social responses through voting, lobbying, advocacy and demonstrations in order to shed light on the nature of this conflict.
This study employs economic voting and political referendum empirical models to estimate the effect of agricultural and food policies enacted in Argentina between 2002 and 2010 in the electoral results for the incumbent party, Partido Justicialista-Frente para la Victoria, in the elections of 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, and 2009. The electoral response is estimated using aggregate-level data at the department level through Ordinary Least Square and Seemingly Unrelated Regression estimation techniques and controlling for wealth, education, age, and sex.
This research found an overall effect between agricultural revenue taxed away by the national government and the difference in voting for the PJ-FpV during the last four election periods across four different social cleavages: urban-rural, center-periphery, agriculture-industry, and class. This research also found an effect between layers of government, nation versus province and nation versus department, but no effect for the different branches of government (executive and legislative) was found.
Given that the rural farming population does not have a voting density comparable to that of the urban wage earning population in Argentina, farming organizations will have to affect policymaking via other social responses, lobbying or interest group access and advocacy coalitions. However, if these two other ways to produce a change in the policy process fail, they will have to resort to social demonstrations with the risks that social response entails.