We design an experiment to simulate how people make agricultural production decisions under three policy scenarios, each incorporating direct payments (DPs): (a) price uncertainty without countercyclical payments (CCPs); (b) price uncertainty with CCPs; and (c) price uncertainty, CCPs, and uncertainty regarding base acreage updating. Results are the CCP program and perceived possibility of future base updating created incentives for subjects to invest more in program (base) crops, despite payments being decoupled from current production decisions. Those choosing to reduce revenue risk by increasing plantings of base crops may face reduced incomes, suggesting the efficiency of crop markets may be diminished.
- Base acreage
- Countercyclical payments