chapter  Seven
31 Pages

Structural Change and Adjustment In The Australian Rural Sector: The Socio-Economic Consequences of Being A Low-Cost Residual Supplier

ByWarren Musgrave

This chapter discusses a number of broad issues such as: the integration of social justice with the pursuit of economic efficiency; the provision of income support to small businessmen; the provision of income support in parallel with the promotion of structural change; the role of psychological status in determining the behaviour of potential recipients of income support. It also discusses the forces underlying the changing position of agriculture in the Australian economy. The chapter reviews the changing structure of the sector, both farm and non-farm and discusses the adjustment associated with this structural change. It also reviews the some consequential policy responses. The key issue is that of providing income support to poor farmers in an efficient and equitable way that does not destroy the competitiveness of a sector of the economy that must be competitive in the distorted and depressed agricultural commodity markets of today.