nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2005‒12‒01
ten papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  2. Farm Productivity and Market Structure. Evidence from Cotton Reforms in Zambia By Irene Brambilla; Guido Porto
  3. Individuals’ opinion on agricultural multifunctionality performance By Esperanza Vera-Toscano; José A. Gómez-Limón; Eduardo Moyano Estrada; Fernando Garrido Fernández
  4. Biosecurity and Infectious Animal Disease By Hennessy, David A.
  5. Biodiversity Conservation under an Imperfect Seed System: the Role of Community Seed Banking Scheme By Bezabih, Mintewab
  6. The Role of Water Quality Perceptions in Modeling Lake Recreation Demand By Jeon, Yongsik; Herriges, Joseph A.; Kling, Catherine L.; Downing, John
  7. Convergent Validity of Contingent Behavior Responses in Models of Recreation Demand By Jeon, Yongsik; Herriges, Joseph A.
  8. Cod Today and None Tomorrow: The Economic Value of a Marine Reserve By Yusuf Tashrifov
  10. Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India By Sirisha C. Naidu

  1. By: Danilo Camargo Igliori
    Abstract: The determinants of technical efficiency in agriculture and cattle ranching are closely related with the debate involving the conservation-development trade-off in the Brazilian Amazon. Concerned with balancing development and environmental conservation, policy makers and academics have emphasized the importance of choosing ways of selecting areas where land use restrictions would be established. In order to understand the relationship between spatial patterns of deforestation and the associated distribution and characteristics of economic activity, issues regarding technical efficiency are clearly important. This paper aims to identify the socio-economic and environmental determinants of technical efficiency in agriculture and cattle ranching in the Brazilian Amazon emphasizing their relationship with spatial processes of deforestation and development. The study is structured in two parts. The first part is concerned with measuring technical efficiency for agriculture and cattle ranching in each geographical unit focusing on the production relationship between inputs and outputs. The second one focuses on the variation in the efficiency measure explained by exogenous factors and includes the spatial analysis. We adopt the model proposed by Battese and Coelli (1995) where the production function and the exogenous effects influencing technical efficiency are estimated simultaneously.
    JEL: Q10 Q24 R12
    Date: 2005
  2. By: Irene Brambilla; Guido Porto
    Abstract: This paper investigates the impacts of cotton marketing reforms on farm productivity, a key element for poverty alleviation, in rural Zambia. The reforms comprised the elimination of the Zambian cotton marketing board that was in place since 1977. Following liberalization, the sector adopted an outgrower scheme, whereby firms provided extension services to farmers and sold inputs on loans that were repaid at the time of harvest. There are two distinctive phases of the reforms: a failure of the outgrower scheme, and a subsequent period of success of the scheme. Our findings indicate that the reforms led to interesting dynamics in cotton farming. During the phase of failure, farmers were pushed back into subsistence and productivity in cotton declined. With the improvement of the outgrower scheme of later years, farmers devoted larger shares of land to cash crops, and farm productivity significantly increased.
    JEL: O12 O13 Q12
    Date: 2005–11
  3. By: Esperanza Vera-Toscano; José A. Gómez-Limón; Eduardo Moyano Estrada; Fernando Garrido Fernández
    Abstract: This paper aims to contribute further insights into the valuation individuals make of agriculture performance taking into account its multifunctional feature. Using data from the 2003 Survey on Individuals’ Opinion on Rurality and Agriculture in Andalucía (Agrobarometre 2003) an ordered probit model is applied to explore the effect of regional characteristics and individual preferences on this issue after accounting for personal heterogeneity. Results show how individuals’ perceptions about this sector performance are site-specific (depending on the surrounding farming systems) and are also based on their particular preferences (individuals’ ranking of multifunctional agriculture attributes). The research further highlights those functions developed by agricultural sector which do not fully satisfy individuals’ expectations. Overall, it provides a useful empirical tool for policy-makers concerned on improving satisfaction with the perception of the multifunctionality of the agricultural sector.
    Keywords: Agricultural multifunctionality, agricultural policies, attitudes and perceptions, regional differences, Ordered Probit.
    Date: 2005
  4. By: Hennessy, David A.
    Abstract: The spatial dimension of agricultural production is important when a communicable disease enters a region. This paper considers two sorts of biosecurity risk that producers can seek to protect against. One concerns the risk of spread: that neighboring producers do not take due care in protecting against being infected by a disease already in the region. In this case, producer efforts substitute with those of near neighbors. For representative spatial production structures, we characterize Nash equilibrium protection levels and show how spatial production structure matters. The other sort of risk concerns entry: that producers do not take due care in preventing the disease from entering the region. In this case, producer heterogeneity has subtle effects on welfare loss due to strategic behavior. Efforts by producers complement, suggesting that inter-farm communication will help to redress the problem.
    Keywords: circle and line topologies, complements and substitutes, epidemic, public good.
    Date: 2005–11–15
  5. By: Bezabih, Mintewab (Department of Economics, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The study is an empirical investigation of agrobiodiversity conservation decisions of small farmers in the central highlands of Ethiopia. The primary objective is to measure the effectiveness of Community Seed Banking (CSB) in enhancing diversity while providing productivity incentives. The analytical framework draws from the synergetic nature of the possible improvment of the working of the seed system and enhanced diversity. We employ Amemiya’s GLS estimator to investigate simultaneity between participation and the level of diversity. Our results indicate a significant impact of participation in CSB on farm-level agrobiodiversity. However, farmer knowledge and experience associated with biodiversity conservation were not found to have the expected reinforcing impact on the degree of biodiversity. CSB participation also led to a moderate productivity increase consistent with the need for such incentives to enhance diversity at a farm level. Our assessment of the performance of the GLS estimator yielded a significant discrepancy between the GLS and bootstrap estimates. This led to the conclusion that bootstrapping asymptotic estimations might be required for appropriate inference even when sample sizes are reasonably large. <p>
    Keywords: Agrobiodiversity; Seed system; Amemiya’s GLS; Bootstrapping
    JEL: C35 Q12 Q29
    Date: 2005–10–31
  6. By: Jeon, Yongsik; Herriges, Joseph A.; Kling, Catherine L.; Downing, John
    Abstract: Recreation demand models typically incorporate measures of the physical attributes of recreational sites; e.g., Secchi depth or phosphorous levels in case of water quality. Moreover, most studies show that individuals do respond to these physical characteristics in choosing where to recreate. However, the question remains as to whether the available physical measures accurately capture individual perceptions of water quality and if there is a additional role to be played by elicited perception measures in modeling recreation demand. In this paper, we use data from the 2004 Iowa Lakes Survey to model recreation demand as a function of both the physical water quality at 131 lakes in the state and household perceptions of lake water quality. In general, water quality perceptions are correlated with the available physical measures, but not perfectly so, and both actual and perceived water quality are found to significantly impact recreational site choice.
    JEL: Q5
    Date: 2005–11–14
  7. By: Jeon, Yongsik; Herriges, Joseph A.
    Abstract: Recreation demand modeling efforts are often limited by the range of variation in observed environmental quality. To address this limitation, the practitioners increasingly makes use of contingent behavior (CB) data; i.e., asking survey respondents to forecast their trip patterns under hypothetical quality conditions. However, relatively little is know as to whether these stated responses are consistent with how households response to actual quality variation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the convergent validity of CB data with observed trip patterns. Toward this end, we jointly model the recreation lake usage for in Iowa using observed and CB trip data collected from the 2004 Iowa Lakes Survey. The Iowa lakes survey collected three sets of trip data for 131 lakes in the state: (a) actual trips in 2004, (b) anticipated trips in 2005 to the same lakes given current lake conditions and (c) anticipated trips in 2005 given hypothetical improvements to a subset of the lakes. The three types of recreation demand data provide a unique opportunity to investigate the convergent validity of individual responses to actual versus hypothetical environmental conditions.
    JEL: Q5
    Date: 2005–11–14
  8. By: Yusuf Tashrifov
    Abstract: This study examines the effects of market reform on the agriculture sector of Tajikistan. It investigates the level and determinants of technical efficiency for a sample of cotton growing regions in Tajikistan. Using unbalanced panel data of 11 years covering the transition period 1992-2002, 34 cotton-producing regions are analysed with a translog stochastic production frontier, including a model for regional-specific technical inefficiencies. The output elasticities, marginal productivities of inputs, returns to scale, and indices of convergence are also examined. They reveal that the technical inefficiency effects are found to be highly significant in indicating the ranges and variation in regional outputs. The results show that market reforms had a significant positive impact on technical efficiency of cotton production, which, in turn, has a substantial contribution to the process of economic development of Tajikistan.
    JEL: D20 Q16 Q13 Q10
    Date: 2005
  9. By: Marco Aurélio Marques Ferreira; Marcelo José Braga
    Abstract: The objective of this work is to analyze the efficiency of cooperatives and non cooperatives in the Brazilian dairy industry. In the study, the conceptual bases of efficiency in the two different organizational forms are interpreted based on agency and property rights theories. The efficiency was measured by using Data Envelopment Analysis in a sample of 107 fluid milk processors. The results support the hypothesis that the cooperatives are less efficient than the non cooperatives in productive efficiency. Tobit models is used to investigate the variables more associated to the efficiency in the dairy industry, and to measure the impact in the level of efficiency of the organizations. The results argue about the importance of promoting differentiated politics for the improvement of the efficiency in the dairy industry.
    JEL: Q13
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Sirisha C. Naidu (University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in northwestern Himalayas. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, social identity and interest in the resource, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear. The empirical results suggest that cooperation need not depend on caste parochialism, that very high levels of wealth heterogeneity can reduce cooperation, and that there can be a divergence between ability and incentive to cooperate which reduces the level of cooperation in the community.
    Keywords: common pool resources, group outcomes, heterogeneity, forests, Himachal Pradesh
    JEL: D63 D71 H41 Q23
    Date: 2005–11–19

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