New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2005‒10‒22
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. The Economic Importance of Agri-food Industries in Iowa By Imerman, Mark D.; Swenson, David A.; Eathington, Liesl; Otto, Daniel
  2. Special Agricultural Safeguards: Virtual Benefits and Real Costs-Lessons for the Doha Round By Jean-Jacques Hallaert
  3. A Three Factor Agricultural Production Function: The Case of Canada By Cristina Echevarria
  4. Assessing Protectionism and Subsidies in Agriculture: A Gravity Approach By Claudio Paiva
  5. Dimensions of Land Inequality and Economic Development By Lennart Erickson; Dietrich Vollrath
  6. Collective-Quality Promotion in the Agribusiness Sector: An Overview, The By Marette, Stéphan
  7. Trade Liberalization in Agriculture in Developed Nations and Incidence of Child Labour in a Developing Economy By Sarbajit Chaudhuri; Jayanta Kumar Dwibedi
  8. Fertilizer Demand in Sub-Saharan Africa: Realizing the Potential By V.A. Kelly
  9. Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity, Benefit-Sharing and the Patent System: Romantics v. Economics? By Hanns Ullrich
  11. Macroeconomic Implications of Natural Disasters in the Caribbean By Tobias N. Rasmussen
  12. Forestry Taxation in Africa: The Case of Liberia By Arnim Schwidrowski; Saji Thomas
  13. Distribution of Natural Resources, Entrepreneurship, and Economic Development: Growth Dynamics with Two Elites By Josef Falkinger; Volker Grossmann

  1. By: Imerman, Mark D.; Swenson, David A.; Eathington, Liesl; Otto, Daniel
    Abstract: This study investigates the value of Iowa’s agri-food industries. The investigators define the agri-food industries to include agricultural production, primary food processing, other agricultural commodity processing, and agricultural input manufacturing and distribution activities. These definitions are used to aggregate data obtained from the IMPLAN economic impact modeling system (MIG, Inc.) to generate both industry-specific estimates of output value and value added in production and an export-based analysis of agri-food exports from Iowa which include all Iowa-sourced input values. These estimates are compared with statistics generally available from the USDA, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, and the Census of Agriculture to provide a perspective of how and why statistics from various sources differ and the implications of these differences. The analysis consists of a state report for Iowa, which contains full explanatory text, and county supplements for each Iowa County, which provide county-specific data and references back to explanations in the state report.
    Date: 2005–10–04
  2. By: Jean-Jacques Hallaert
    Abstract: In the Doha Round, negotiators are discussing the elimination or continuation of the special agricultural safeguards introduced by the Uruguay Round as well as the creation of special safeguard mechanism for use by developing countries. This paper argues that, in violation of the spirit of the WTO Agreement in Agriculture, the special agricultural safeguards have often been used as a prolonged protectionist device. It then draws lessons for the design of the special safeguard mechanism.
    Keywords: Agricultural trade , Safeguards , Trade policy ,
    Date: 2005–07–14
  3. By: Cristina Echevarria (University of Saskatchewan)
    Abstract: This paper estimates a constant returns to scale agricultural production function of the three basic factors of production. Such a function is a useful tool for macroeconomic, growth, and development studies. It uses the shares approach that Solow used in 1957 and very disaggregated Canadian data. The main results of this paper are that first, in Canada, agriculture is less labour intensive than both services and industry, but capital intensity is similar in the three sectors. Second, the share of land in value added is estimated to be 16%. Third, total factor productivity growth in Canada has been roughly the same--0.3%--in agriculture and manufactures over the period 1971-91.
    Keywords: agricultural economics, agriculture production function, macroeconomics
    JEL: D1 D2 D3 D4
    Date: 2005–10–20
  4. By: Claudio Paiva
    Abstract: This paper provides the first comprehensive empirical analysis of agricultural trade using a gravity model. The data set covers bilateral trade in agricultural goods for 152 countries over the periods 1990-93 and 1999-2002. The estimations support claims that protectionism and distortive subsidies to agriculture remain widespread in more developed nations, which are shown to import less and export more agricultural products than expected given other economic, political, and geographic determinants of trade. However, some developing regions that are often thought to be the main victims of industrial-country protectionism are also found to be relatively closed to agricultural trade.
    Keywords: Protectionism , Trade , Agricultural subsidies , Economic models ,
    Date: 2005–02–08
  5. By: Lennart Erickson; Dietrich Vollrath
    Abstract: There are several theories linking land inequality with aspects of economic development. Empirical work on these theories has attempted to establish a relationship between land inequality and institutions, financial development, and education. This research, though, has relied on measures of land inequality that capture only inequality within the class of landholders, ignoring completely the issue of landlessness. This omission raises suspicion about the usefulness of those empirical results. We use a new measure of the breadth of landholdings across the agricultural population to address this issue. We test the proposed relationships regarding land inequality and development using the new measure. The regressions fail to find significant and robust relationships between land inequality of either type and institutions or financial development. We do find that lower land inequality across agricultural populations, but not inequality within the landholding class, is associated with greater public provision of education.
    Keywords: Land reform , Development , Financial sector , Education ,
    Date: 2004–09–02
  6. By: Marette, Stéphan
    Abstract: This paper reviews the economic effects of collective-quality promotion through a survey of the recent literature devoted to common labeling and professional groups. Benefits and costs of common labeling and professional groups for improving quality are detailed. Some empirical facts are presented, mainly focusing on some European examples, since many European countries have a long history of producer-owned marketing programs. This paper shows that in some cases the collective-quality promotion can be a successful strategy for firms/farmers.
    Keywords: collective-quality promotion, labeling, marketing organization, quality signals.
    Date: 2005–10–12
  7. By: Sarbajit Chaudhuri (Department of Economics, Calcutta University, India); Jayanta Kumar Dwibedi (Dept. of Economics, Brahmananda Keshab Chandra College, India)
    Abstract: This paper is an attempt to analyze the consequence of trade liberalization in agriculture in the developed countries on the incidence of child labour in a developing economy in terms of a three- sector general equilibrium model with informal sectors. Adult labour and child labour are substitutes to each other in the two informal sectors of the economy and are used together apart from capital in producing two exportable commodities. The interesting result that appears from the analysis is that agricultural trade liberalization in the developed countries may be effective in bringing down the incidence of child labour in the system. The paper substantiates the desirability of trade liberalization in agriculture in the developed nations from the perspective of the developing economies for reason other than welfare improvement.
    Keywords: Child labour, trade liberalization in agriculture, informal sector, general equilibrium model
    JEL: F10 J10 J13 I28
    Date: 2005–10–20
  8. By: V.A. Kelly (Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University)
    Abstract: The growing contrast between the very limited use of fertilizer in Sub-Saharan Africa (only 9 kg of nutrients per hectare) and the role played by fertilizer in other regions of the world (100-135 kg/ha in Asia, where 50% of yield growth is attributed to fertilizer) has stimulated debate about the role of fertilizer in Africa and what types of policies and programs are needed to realize its potential benefits. The objective of this paper is to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of knowledge and the key debates concerning fertilizer demand in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Technical, economic, and policy issues are addressed. The underlying assumption is that SSA needs to increase fertilizer consumption to meet agricultural growth, poverty reduction, and environmental objectives. This will require policies and programs that encourage economically sound and technically efficient fertilizer use, not simply increased use.
    Keywords: food security, food policy, fertilizer demand
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Hanns Ullrich
    Abstract: Since the nineties of the last century two opposite trends have marked the development of international intellectual property protection. On the one hand, world trade negotiations have resulted in the establishment of a globally uniform system of adequate protection of intellectual property by the GATT/WTO Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights. It basically enshrines the market-oriented principles of protection of industrially developed countries. On the other, efforts to protect traditional and local knowledge have found specific support in the Convention on Biological Diversity which, in addition to providing, in the interest of environment protection, for mechanisms for the control of access to genetic resources, seeks to promote the condition of developing countries by subjecting such access to principles of prior informed consent and of participation in the benefit enterprises may obtain on the basis of patent protected inventions and innovations embodying or using genetic resources and associated traditional knowledge. The paper first examines the various ways in which biodiversity-related traditional knowledge may be passively or actively defended or protected, but concludes that, with the exception of a defence against misuses of the intellectual property system, little is to be expected from either reliance on existing forms of protecting intellectual property or from the development of more or less analogous forms of sui generis protection, the main reason being that intellectual property protection is a market-oriented mechanism, not a measure of knowledge conservation. In a second part the conflicts are analysed which arise when, as under the Biodiversity Convention, the market-oriented system of protection is put at the service of regulatory schemes aiming at non-market goals, in particular when the acquisition of patents is subject to additional and not directly related disclosure requirements, and when the exploitation of patents is conditioned on “equitable benefit sharing”. The main conclusion is that such burdening of patent protected innovation with specific environmental and developmental charges will result in negative synergies. These may have a counterproductive impact first, on the attainment of the regulatory objectives of protecting biodiversity and of promoting development and, second, on the technological neutrality of patent protection as an incentive mechanism for innovation in general. Additional problems of the legitimacy of using intellectual property as a support of objective-specific regulation suggest to implement the Convention on Biodiversity on the basis of a clearer separation between protection of biodiversity, promotion of development and stimulation of innovation, since this would bring it more in accordance with principles of proportionality regarding the selection and the use of regulatory instruments.“
    Keywords: economic law; international trade; pharmaceutical industry; Uruguay round; environmental policy; trade policy; international relations; WTO; knowledge
    Date: 2005–05–01
  10. By: Sarbajit Chaudhuri (Dept. of Economics, Calcutta University, India)
    Abstract: In a two sector mobile capital Harris-Todaro model, such as Corden and Findlay (1975), an inflow of foreign capital in the presence of protectionist policy is welfare deteriorating as well as unemployment accentuating. But, the developing countries have chosen liberalized investment and trade policies as their development strategies and have been able to attract a considerable amount of foreign capital during the last two decades. A relevant question is why these countries are yearning for foreign capital given its detrimental effects as predicted by the conventional theoretical literature on trade and development. This paper makes an attempt to address the above issue in terms of a three sector Harris-Todaro model with agricultural dualism and a non- traded final commodity. In the given setup, an inflow of foreign capital is likely to improve welfare and does not necessarily worsen the problem of unemployment. The paper may also be useful to explain as to why many of the developing economies have experienced ‘jobless growth’ in the liberalized regime.
    Keywords: Foreign capital, rural-urban migration, welfare, urban unemployment, general equilibrium, import tariff, jobless growth
    JEL: F2 F21 O17
    Date: 2005–10–20
  11. By: Tobias N. Rasmussen
    Abstract: Each year natural disasters affect about 200 million people and cause about $50 billion in damage. This paper compares the incidence of natural disasters across countries along several dimensions and finds that the relative costs tend to be far higher in developing countries than in advanced economies. The analysis shows that small island states are especially vulnerable, with the countries of the Eastern Caribbean standing out as among the most disaster-prone in the world. Natural disasters are found to have had a discernible macroeconomic impact, including large effects on fiscal and external balances, pointing to an important role for precautionary measures.
    Keywords: Emergency assistance , Developing countries ,
    Date: 2004–12–10
  12. By: Arnim Schwidrowski; Saji Thomas
    Abstract: Countries generally tax the forestry sector to achieve the twin objectives of revenue maximization and sustainability of logging levels. In an ideal world of perfect markets and information, auctions would be the best instrument to determine the price of extraction rights. However, a number of factors-including a lack of information on the forest resources under consideration, uncertainties as to the stability of property rights over time, and a lack of access to credit-have limited the use of auctions so far, particularly in low-income countries. To establish transparency of the forestry sector's financial flows, this paper discusses a radical simplification of Liberia's current timber tax structure, including a proposal to reduce the sector's current tax system to two instruments, an area tax and an export tax.
    Keywords: Taxation , Liberia , Agriculture ,
    Date: 2005–08–12
  13. By: Josef Falkinger (University of Zurich, CESifo and IZA Bonn); Volker Grossmann (University of Zurich, CESifo and IZA Bonn)
    Abstract: This paper develops a model in which the interaction of entrepreneurial investments and power of the owners of land or other natural resources determines structural change and economic development. A more equal distribution of natural resources promotes structural change and growth through two channels: First, by weakening oligopsony power of owners and thereby easing entrepreneurial investments for credit-constrained individuals whose investment possibilities depend on their income earned in the primary goods sector. Second, by shifting the distribution of political power from resource owners towards the entrepreneurial elite, resulting in economic policy and institutions which are more conducive to entrepreneurship and productivity progress. We argue that these hypotheses are consistent with a large body of historical evidence from the Americas and with evidence on transition economies.
    Keywords: credit constraints, distribution, economic development, entrepreneurship, institutions, oligopsony power, political elites
    JEL: O10 H50
    Date: 2005–09

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