Abstract Explanations are provided for why governments do as they do in agriculture. Alternative frameworks are assessed to explain government policy including collective action and politician-voter interaction models. Several key patterns of policies are analyzed including the “developmental paradox” where the tendency for support to agriculture increases with GDP and decreases with the proportion of the population in agriculture. The chapter also assesses why governments employ inefficient policy instruments in agriculture, why there appears to be a status quo bias, and why policy is biased against trade. Particular emphasis is given on the interaction between redistributive and growth-promoting policies.