Journal article

Counting the cost: the reserve price scheme for wool 1970‐2001

Malcolm Abbott, David Merrett

Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics | Wiley | Published : 2019

Abstract

This paper provides a policy commentary on the collapse in 1991 of the Australian Reserve Price Scheme for wool. A key cause of the collapse in the Scheme was a change in the RPS's governance arrangements, which led to increased political pressures to raise prices to unsustainable levels. In addition, in this paper an estimation has been made of the direct, upfront costs of the operation of the scheme, drawing on the financial accounts of the various agencies operating the RPS and subsequent wool stockpile. This was undertaken to determine the scale of the policy failure.

University of Melbourne Researchers