nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒04‒01
seven papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. Grading, Minimum Quality Standards, and the Labeling of Genetically Modified Products By Moschini, GianCarlo; Lapan, Harvey E.
  2. Legal knowledge and economic development : the case of land rights in Uganda By Yamano, Takashi; Ayalew, Daniel; Deininger, Klaus
  3. Voluntary environmental approaches in French wine growing: a variety of adhesion factors (In French) By BELIS-BERGOUIGNAN Marie-Claude (E3i-IFReDE-GRES); CAZALS Clarisse (E3i-IFReDE-GRES)
  4. The Return to Capital in Ghana By Christopher Udry; Santosh Anagol
  5. Does rising landlessness signal success or failure for Vietnam’s agrarian transition? By van de Walle, Dominique; Ravallion, Martin
  6. Intellectual Property Rights and Biotechnology: How to improve the present patent system By Ignazio Musu
  7. Auctioning Conservation Contracts: An Application to the Flemish Afforestation Policy By Rousseau Sandra; Moons Ellen

  1. By: Moschini, GianCarlo; Lapan, Harvey E.
    Abstract: In this paper we relate the economics of labeling genetically modified (GM) products to the theory of grading and minimum quality standards. The model represents three stages in the supply chain (farm production, marketing handlers, and final users) and allows explicitly for the accidental co-mingling of non-GM products at the marketing stage. Regulation takes the form of a threshold level of purity for non-GM products. The paper also presents a novel demand specification for differentiated GM and non-GM products that is particularly useful in our stochastic framework. First, we find that if the threshold purity level for non-GM products is too strict, this necessarily leads to the disappearance of non-GM product from the market. Second, we show that some quality standard is in the interest of farmers as well. Indeed, we show that the standard that is optimal from the perspective of producers is actually stricter than what is optimal for consumers and for societal welfare. We conclude with comparative statics effects that illustrate the impact of the model’s parameters on market equilibrium and on the welfaremaximizing regulatory standard.
    Keywords: biotechnology, grading, identity preservation, food labeling, minimum quality standards, regulation, uncertainty.
    JEL: L5 O3 Q1
    Date: 2006–03–23
  2. By: Yamano, Takashi; Ayalew, Daniel; Deininger, Klaus
    Abstract: Mixed evidence on the impact of formal title in much of Africa is often used to question the relevance of dealing with land policy issues in this continent. The authors use data from Uganda to assess the impact of a disaggregated set of rights on investment, productivity, and land values, and to test the hypothesis that individuals ' lack of knowledge of the new law reduces their tenure security. Results point toward strong and positive effects of greater tenure security and transferability. Use of exogenous knowledge of its provisions as a proxy for the value of the land law suggests that this piece of legislation had major economic benefits that remain to be fully realized.
    Keywords: Municipal Housing and Land,Real Estate Development,Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems,Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction,Land Use and Policies
    Date: 2006–03–01
  3. By: BELIS-BERGOUIGNAN Marie-Claude (E3i-IFReDE-GRES); CAZALS Clarisse (E3i-IFReDE-GRES)
    Abstract: One main environmental issue in wine growing is the non point source pollution of underground water by excessive use of pesticides. The aim of our paper is to present the diversity of voluntary environmental approaches (VEA) .We explain this diversity by the different values that suppose the actors submission to rules and standards, which determine adhesion factors. The analysis is empirically based on original survey conducted towards a sample of more than 1500 wine producers. In a first part, we show that there are two VEA standard models in wine growing: integrated production and organic production. In a second part, we specify these two standard models by different motivation criteria (controlling factor). In organic farming, the relationships with nature are important whereas economic factor determine the choice of integrated farming.
    Keywords: Non point source pollution - Integrated farming - Organic farming - Organized proximity - Wine growing - Adhesion factors- Voluntary Environmental Approaches
    JEL: Q13 Q25 Q53
    Date: 2006
  4. By: Christopher Udry (Economic Growth Center, Yale University); Santosh Anagol (Yale University)
    Abstract: We show that the real return to capital in Ghana's informal sector is high. For farmers, we find annual returns ranging from 205-350% in the new technology of pineapple cultivation, and 30-50% in well-established food crop cultivation. We also examine the relative prices of durable goods of varying durability, and estimate a lower bound to the opportunity cost of capital of 60%.
    Keywords: Capital, durable goods, credit markets
    JEL: O12 O16 D24
  5. By: van de Walle, Dominique; Ravallion, Martin
    Abstract: In the wake of reforms to establish a free market in land-use rights, Vietnam is experiencing a pronounced rise in rural landlessness. To some observers this is a harmless by-product of a more efficient economy, while to others it signals the return of the pre-socialist class-structure, with the rural landless at the bottom of the economic ladder. The authors ' theoretical model suggests that removing restrictions on land markets will increase landlessness among the poor, but that there will be both gainers and losers, with uncertain impacts on aggregate poverty. Empirically, they find that landlessness is less likely for the poor and that the observed rise in landlessness is poverty reducing on balance. However, there are marked regional differences, notably between the north and the south.
    Keywords: Land Use and Policies,Rural Land Policies for Poverty Reduction,Rural Poverty Reduction,Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems,Climate Change
    Date: 2006–04–01
  6. By: Ignazio Musu (Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari")
    Abstract: The paper discusses two types of problems related to assigning or denying intellectual property rights to agro-biotechnological innovations in the relation between developed and developing countries. First, protecting property rights on innovations creates incentives towards further research and innovation, which in some cases may be beneficial to society, in others not so. If the assigning of the right does not guarantee the potential beneficial use of the innovation, not assigning rights would not prevent its potentially dangerous utilization. Secondly, the power of exclusion of the holder of an intellectual property right limits access to the newly produced knowledge: this may discourage the process of producing new knowledge, harming developing countries. Moreover the property right holder may end up with excessive market power when commercializing the innovation, which is also harmful to developing countries. It is shown that these problems cannot be solved by denying protection to property rights on innovations, but by improving procedures for awarding these rights and accompanying them with appropriate liability rules and antitrust measures.
    Keywords: Intellectual property rights, Biotechnology, Patent system
    JEL: O30 O33 O34
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Rousseau Sandra (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies); Moons Ellen (K.U.Leuven-Center for Economic Studies)
    Abstract: This paper studies the possibility of using auctions as a policy instrument in conservation programs. In particular, it provides insight into the main concerns that need to be dealt with when implementing conservation auctions. To show the cost saving potential of this policy instrument, we also calculate the social welfare improvement that can be obtained for an afforestation project in Flanders. Creation-Date: 2006-03
    Keywords: Auctions; Conservation contracts; Afforestation

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