nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒05‒06
eight papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. Farm productivity and market structure : evidence from cotton reforms in Zambia By Porto, Guido G.; Brambilla, Irene
  2. The potential cost to New Zealand dairy farmers from the introduction of nitrate-based stocking rate restrictions By Mark Neal
  3. Ownership Form and Contractual Enefficiency: Comparing Performance of Cooperatives and Private Factories in the Indian Sugar Industry By Sanghamitra Das; Dilip Mookherjee
  4. The Devil’s in the Details:Why a Revenue-based Farm Program is No Panacea By Keith H. Coble; J. Corey Miller
  5. The Environmental Impact of Poverty: Evidence from Firewood Collection in Rural Nepal By Pranab Bardhan; Jean-Marie Baland; Sanghamitra Das; Dilip Mookherjee; Rinki Sarkar
  6. From Farmers to Merchants: A Human Capital Interpretation of Jewish Economic History By Maristella Botticini; Zvi Eckstein
  7. The Demand for Outpatient Medical Care in Rural Kenya By Randell P. Ellis; Germano M. Mwabu
  8. Nonlinearties and heterogeneity in environmental quality : an empirical analysis of deforestation By Ph. Nguyen Van; Th. Azomahou

  1. By: Porto, Guido G.; Brambilla, Irene
    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. The authors ' 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.
    Keywords: Crops & Crop Management Systems,Economic Theory & Research,Livestock & Animal Husbandry,Rural Poverty Reduction,Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems
    Date: 2006–05–01
  2. By: Mark Neal (Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Introducing a stocking rate restriction is one possible course of action for regulators to improve water quality where it is affected by nitrate pollution. To determine the impact of a stocking rate restriction on a range of New Zealand dairy farms, a whole-farm model was optimised with and without a maximum stocking rate of 2.5 cows per hectare. Three farm systems, which differ by their level of feed-related capital, were examined for the changes to the optimal stocking rate and optimal level of animal milk production genetics when utility was maximised. The whole-farm model was optimised through the use of an evolutionary algorithm called differential evolution. The introduction of a stocking rate restriction would have a very large impact on the optimally organised high feed-related capital farm systems, reducing their certainty equivalent by almost half. However, there was no impact on the certainty equivalent of low feed-related capital systems.
    Keywords: environmental regulation, dairy farms, whole-farm model, evolutionary algorithm
    JEL: Q12 Q52 C61
    Date: 2005–12
  3. By: Sanghamitra Das (Indian Statistical Institute, Delhi); Dilip Mookherjee (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University)
    Abstract: This paper explores the role of differing contractual relationships between sugarcane farmers and sugar factories in India resulting from differing ownership structures. In Maharashtra most sugar factories are cooperatively owned by cane farmers, while in Uttar Pradesh most factories are privately owned and purchase cane from independent peasant farmers. The key incentive problem is that residual claimants to factory profits are inclined to exploit their monopsony power and underprice cane supplied by farmers. This results in undersupply of cane to factories, the extent of which depends on who owns the factory, besides the distribution of land between small and big growers. Predictions of the model are empirically verified from panel data spanning 1982–95 for private and coop factories in the two states. We find that the respective cane price distortions overwhelm the effect of changes in cane quality, technological change, prices or irrigation in accounting for differences in growth of the industry between different ownership forms and regions over this period.
  4. By: Keith H. Coble; J. Corey Miller (Department of Agricultural Economics, Mississippi State University)
    Abstract: Producer and other interest groups are beginning to consider farm policy positions in anticipation of hearings and possible serious farm bill debates during late 2006 and 2007. An idea gaining attention and support among some groups is deemphasizing or eliminating the current commodity “price” programs (loan deficiency payments and counter-cyclical payments) and replacing them with programs based on “revenue insurance” designs. Suggested designs include a multi-tiered farm payment program based on individual revenue guarantees and shortfalls in county revenue. Another example of such an alternative design is a whole-farm revenue design that issues program payments when adjusted gross farm revenue falls below a historical five-year baseline. Interestingly, programs quite similar to both proposals have been offered by USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) since 1999 as part of the federal crop insurance program. In this paper, we evaluate the implications of using revenue-based designs as the primary U.S. farm support program. Our analysis considers implementation issues, distributional effects of such a change, and implications for compliance with WTO rules.
    Keywords: farm policy, revenue insurance, WTO.
    JEL: E32 R10
    Date: 2006–01
  5. By: Pranab Bardhan (University of California, Berkeley); Jean-Marie Baland (University of Namur); Sanghamitra Das (Indian Statistical Institute); Dilip Mookherjee (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University); Rinki Sarkar
  6. By: Maristella Botticini (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University); Zvi Eckstein (Tel Avive University)
  7. By: Randell P. Ellis (Institute for Economic Development, Boston University); Germano M. Mwabu (University of Nairobi, Kenya)
  8. By: Ph. Nguyen Van; Th. Azomahou
    Date: 2005

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