The EU Common Agricultural Policy has historically been articulated into public budget payments
and price support measures. From the distributive viewpoint, while the former are financed
through the usual fiscal policy mechanisms (largely progressive), the financing structure of market
price support (burdened on the consumers of food products) envisages a possible income regressive
effect (via Engel’s law). The objective of the paper is to investigate the existence and the
size of this effect. To achieve this aim we combine data and information from different sources
(Bank of Italy, ISTAT, OECD, ISMEA). Our results support the existence of the regressive effect.