New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒06‒17
thirteen papers chosen by

  1. A Quantitative Assessment of the Outcome of the Doha Development Agenda By Yvan Decreux; Lionel Fontagne
  2. Something of a Paradox: The Curious Neglect of Agriculture in Development By Derek D. Headey; Dirk Bezemer
  3. The optimal carbon sequestration in agricultural soils : does the dynamics of the physical process matter ?. By Lionel Ragot; Katheline Schubert
  4. Analysing Agricultural Land Markets as Organisations - An Empirical Study in Poland By Annette Hurrelmann
  5. Agri-Environmental Policy in Germany - Understanding the Role of Regional Administration By Jörg Eggers; Lutz Laschewski; Christian Schleyer
  6. Multiple-Use Water Services to Advance the Millennium Development Goals By Barbara van Koppen; Patrick Moriarty; Eline Boelee
  7. Investigating the Characteristics of Stated Preferences for Reducing the Impacts of Air Pollution: A Contingent Valuation Experiment By Ian J. Bateman; Michael P. Cameron; Antreas Tsoumas
  8. Emergency Needs Assessments and the Impact of Food Aid on Local Markets By Cynthia Donovan; Megan McGlinchy; John Staatz; David Tschirley
  9. Social Capital and Cooperation in Central and Eastern Europe - A Theoretical Perspective Abstract By Catherine Murray
  10. Intellectual Property Rights and their Impacts in Developing Countries - An Empirical Analysis of Maize Breeding in Mexico By Andréanne Léger
  11. Opportunities to Improve Household Food Security Through Promoting Informal Maize Marketing Channels: Experience from Eastern Cape Province, South Africa By Lulama Ndibongo Traub; T.S. Jayne
  12. Governing the Co-Existence of GM Crops - Ex-Ante Regulation and Ex-Post Liability under Uncertainty and Irreversibility By Volker Beckmann; Claudio Soregaroli; Justus Wesseler
  13. Performance Measurement in the Australian Water Supply Industry By Tim Coelli; Shannon Walding

  1. By: Yvan Decreux; Lionel Fontagne
    Abstract: Different options contemplated by the negotiators of the Doha Development Agenda are assessed using the Computable General Equilibrium model MIRAGE, the MAcMap and GTAP databases, existing estimates of protection in the services sector as well as estimates of the administrative and transaction costs to be reduced by trade facilitation measures. In all scenarios (with the exception of “free trade”), we consider that the “G90” will not be requested to liberalise. Export subsidies in agriculture are completely eliminated, taking into account the 2013 deadline agreed in Hong Kong in December 2005, and domestic farm support is halved. When an average 36% linear cut in tariffs is implemented in the industrial and in the agricultural sectors (but with a reduction limited to 25% for sensitive products in the latter sector), we end up with a “Round for nothing”. At the opposite of the spectrum, free trade in goods would lead to USD 232 bn welfare gains for the world economy (expressed in 2005 terms). There is however more to be gained, for the world economy, from a 25% cut of the barriers in services, than from a 70% tariff cut in agriculture in the North and a 50% cut in the South. On the top of this, a successful trade facilitation agenda would be equivalent to doubling official development aid to Sub-Saharan Africa countries after 2020. In the latter case, how to finance such program remains however a challenging issue.
    Keywords: Trade negotiations; computable general equilibrium models; WTO; international trade
    JEL: D58 F12 F13
    Date: 2006–05
  2. By: Derek D. Headey; Dirk Bezemer (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: This paper argues that investment in agriculture has a large and continuing developmental importance in terms of both economic growth and poverty reduction. Moreover, targeted public resources have proven to be indispensable in achieving these results. Both arguments are supported with novel analyses which update and strengthen the traditional case for agriculture-led development with public-sector involvement. But despite the strong case for agriculture-led development strategies, the authors find that over the last three decades the financial resources allocated towards this sector have strongly declined. It is suggested that a shift towards new development paradigms since 1980 might be a significant explanation for this apparent Agricultural Paradox. This conjecture is tested with data on market reform impacts, PRSP contents and analyses of the intellectual resources devoted to the study of agriculture in development by both practitioners and researchers. The authors conclude with a critical discussion of these disturbing trends.
    Date: 2006–01
  3. By: Lionel Ragot (MEDEE et Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne); Katheline Schubert (Centre d'Economie de la Sorbonne)
    Abstract: The Kyoto Protocol, which came in force in February 2005, allows countries to resort to "supplementary activities" consisting particularly in carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. Existing papers studying the optimal carbon sequestration recognize the importance of the temporality of sequestration, but overlook the fact that it is a dissymmetric dynamic process. This paper takes explicitly into account the temporality of sequestration. Its first contribution is technical : we solve an optimal control problem with two stages and a dissymmetric dynamic process. The second contribution is empirical : we show that the error made when sequestration is supposed immediate can be very significant, and we exhibit numerically the optimal path of sequestration /de-sequestration for specific benefit, damage and cost functions, and a calibration that mimics roughly the world conditions.
    Keywords: Environment, agriculture, carbon sequestration, Kyoto Protocol, optimal control.
    JEL: C61 H23 Q01 Q15
    Date: 2006–03
  4. By: Annette Hurrelmann (Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Luisenstr. 56, D-10099 Berlin)
    Abstract: In this paper agricultural land markets are regarded as organisations, which allows to take the effect of the social embeddedness of exchange into account. The markets-as-organisations approach suggests that markets are governed by an internal "constitution" containing rules on dissemination of information, control procedures and sanctioning mechanisms that provide advantages to members. The design of the market constitution is believed to be strongly influenced by the constellation of actors and their characteristics. In order to investigate the validity of this assumption the study chooses a comparative approach that analyses the content of land market rules in settings with different actor constellations and tries to find out why they have been established in this way. Both qualitative and quantitative data collected in three village case studies and a survey in two structurally different regions of Poland is used. The results underline that the internal constitution of the organisation "land market" is designed to serve members' interests by decreasing transaction costs and protecting community welfare and also support the expectation that the rules differ according to actor constellations.
    Date: 2004–11
  5. By: Jörg Eggers (Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, Luisenstr. 56, D-10099 Berlin); Lutz Laschewski; Christian Schleyer
    Abstract: With regard to agri-environmental schemes under Regulation (EC) No. 1257/1999 in Europe a rather divers uptake as well as a lack of effectiveness and efficiency of these current schemes can be observed. In contrast to most of the related literature, we suggest that the ineffectiveness and inefficiency is inherent to the way those schemes are currently institutionalised in the framework of European agricultural policies. The paper draws on ex-periences made within the GRANO research project on "Approaches for Sustainable Agricultural Production in Northeast Germany". Among other sub-projects, round tables, so-called Agri-Environmental Forums (AEF), were installed in two districts in Brandenburg to integrate local actors directly into the process of designing and implementing local agri-environmental schemes in order to improve their economic and ecological efficiency. While the participants were successful in designing such local scheme, it did not become part of the Rural Development Plan in Brandenburg. Based on this case study, we argue that the process of designing agri-environmental schemes in Germany can be conceptualised as a rather complex negotiation process at Laender level. The institutional settings in which this negotiation process takes place shape the possible outcomes and, thus, the design of the schemes. With only "passive support" for decentralised and participatory approaches, yet compulsory complex bureaucratic procedures on part of the EU, there are no incentives for the administration at Laender level to actively support those approaches. Further, it can not be expected that the lack of effectiveness and efficiency can be wiped out completely from the current European Agri-environmental Policy framework. Therefore, we have to drop the assumption that agri-environmental issues in general can be solved through agri-environmental schemes alone.
    Date: 2004–12
  6. By: Barbara van Koppen; Patrick Moriarty; Eline Boelee (International Irrigation Management Institute)
    Keywords: water supply / domestic / irrigation / water services / gender / water quality / planning / design / livelihoods / user charges / financing / environmental sustainability / development policy / poverty alleviation / water legislation / participatory management / water use / costs / appropriate technology / public health / risks / integrated water resources management / decentralization / multiple water uses
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Ian J. Bateman (University of East Anglia); Michael P. Cameron (University of Waikato); Antreas Tsoumas (University of the Aegean)
    Abstract: This paper investigates the nature of stated preferences for reducing air pollution impacts. Specifically a contingent valuation (CV) experiment is designed to elicit individuals’ values for reducing these impacts and to examine how these may change when multiple schemes for reducing differing impacts are valued. The novel survey design allows simultaneous testing for the presence of several anomalies reported in the CV literature within the same context, including (i) scope sensitivity (ii) part-whole or substitution effects (iii) ordering effects and (iv) visible choice set effects. Results indicate some scope sensitivity and interaction between ordering effects and visible choice set effects, as well as substantial part-whole or substitution effects between two exclusive schemes. A practical consequence of these findings is that estimates of the value of combined programmes may not readily be obtained by summing the values of their constituent parts obtained using the CV method.
    Keywords: air pollution; contingent valuation; stated preferences; part-whole effect; experimental surveys
    JEL: C42 C90 Q51 Q53
    Date: 2006–05–11
  8. By: Cynthia Donovan (Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University); Megan McGlinchy; John Staatz; David Tschirley
    Abstract: This desk study is designed to assist WFP and other humanitarian agencies in understanding markets as they relate to emergencies, particularly the assessment of the impacts of emergencies and food aid deliveries on local commodity markets. In this work, we will focus on the impact of actual food commodity distribution on commodity markets, one of the most common emergency response alternatives. However, the report widens the debate to assist humanitarian agencies in seeing the link between actions taken by and with households and individuals during and after an emergency, the effects those actions have on markets, but also effects that market structure and performance may have in mitigating food insecurity.
    Keywords: food security, food policy, food aid
    JEL: Q18
    Date: 2006
  9. By: Catherine Murray (Humboldt University Berlin, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Chair of Resource Economics, Luisenstr. 56, 10099 Berlin)
    Abstract: The transition process in central and eastern Europe (CEE) had a profound effect on how individuals interact. Economic and social institutions have changed, requiring an adaptation process by individuals in the move toward a market economy. How each individual accesses, manipulates and uses their networks will determine the use of their social capital. Within CEE, there is a presumption of low levels of social capital. This paper was written as a conceptual framework for a research project entitled ?Integrated Development of Agricultural and Rural Institutions? (IDARI) in CEE countries. One element of the IDARI project is to understand the emergence and maintenance of cooperative behaviour in light of rural restructuring and institutional change in CEE. A link exists between social capital formation and cooperation amongst individuals, as both concepts imply social interaction and the formation of trust. This paper questions the rationale of applying the contested "western" concept of social capital to CEE countries. It argues that although the concept was developed to understand processes within established democratic systems, it nevertheless is instrumental for analysing how trust is formed, and for understanding cooperation amongst individuals. As such, this framework reconciles literature from sociological and economic disciplines. Social networks and use of those networks (social capital) is becoming more important in light of accession to the EU, particularly when opportunities within and access to rural and regional development programmes are dependent on existing networks. Social capital is seen as a dynamic entity, a form of institutional change, which leads to innovation in the existing governance structures. Thus social capital provides a powerful explanatory tool for processes of institutional change.
    Date: 2005–06
  10. By: Andréanne Léger (DIW Berlin, Department of International Economics , Koenigin-Luise-Str. 5, 14195 Berlin and Humboldt University Berlin, Faculty of Agriculture and Horticulture, Department of Agricultural Economics and Social Sciences, Chair of International Agricultural Trade and Development, Lusienstr. 56, 10099 Berlin)
    Abstract: There is little empirical evidence concerning the effects of intellectual property rights (IPR)on a technologically advanced developing country. Complete enumeration of the Mexican maize breeding industry showed that, contrary to the hypothesis that IPR would provide, in a technologically advanced developing country, incentives for R&D and innovation, IPR play no role for the industry in general, but that they are important for certain breeders' categories.The paper presents the theory on IPR and a short background on the Mexican maize breeding industry. The analysis of the interviews with maize breeders leads to the conclusion that the theory on IPR should be revised and take into account the characteristics of developing countries critical for the good functioning of IPR, especially the quality of the institutional environment and the judiciary system, and the importance of transaction costs related to IPR protection. The level of technological development also determines the extent to which actors can benefit from IPR protection. Given the relatively good score of Mexico on these two critical factors, IPR are likely to play an even smaller role for other developing countries.
    Keywords: Intellectual property rights; Developing Country; Empirical Evidence; Transaction costs; Mexico; Maize
    JEL: O34 Q16 O31 Q17
    Date: 2005–01
  11. By: Lulama Ndibongo Traub; T.S. Jayne (Department of Agricultural Economics, Michigan State University)
    Abstract: Maize meal is a staple food in South Africa, particularly among the poor. The South African government by the mid-1980s enacted a series of legislations aimed at reducing the role of government within the market and placing increasing reliance on market forces and the private sector. Ex post studies of the impact of maize market reform in neighboring countries found that, in general, the reforms led to lower maize milling/retailing margins in real terms. However, in the case of South Africa, recent analysis indicates that maize market reform has not reduced processing and retailing margins in the maize meal supply chain. The study objectives are to determine actual and potential consumer demand for the types of maize meal capable of being produced by small-scale mills, to measure the potential impact of small-scale grain retailing and milling channels on households’ disposable income and food security, and to identify the factors responsible for the negligible role of small-scale milling sector in South Africa.
    Keywords: food security, food policy, maize, marketing, South Africa
    JEL: F14
    Date: 2006
  12. By: Volker Beckmann (Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institut für Wirtschafts- und Sozialwissenschaften des Landbaus, Fachgebiet Ressourcenökonomie, Luisenstr. 56, 10099 Berlin); Claudio Soregaroli (Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Piacenza, Italy); Justus Wesseler (Environmental Economics and Natural Resources Group, Wageningen University, 6700 EW Wageningen, The Netherlands)
    Abstract: The future institutional environment for the co-existence of genetically modified (GM) crops, conventional crops and organic crops in Europe combines measures of ex-ante regulation and ex-post liability rules. Against this background we ask the following two questions: How does ex-ante regulation and ex-post liability under irreversibility and uncertainty affect the adoption of GM crops? What are the implications for regional agglomeration of GM and non-GM crops? Ex-ante regulations and ex-post liabilities for using GM crops will induce additional costs. These costs are modelled in a classical way. The model is advanced by including irreversibility and uncertainty and taking into account transaction costs of negotiating possible solutions with neighbouring farmers which are assumed to be partially irreversible. The results show that the design of ex-ante regulation and ex-post liability increases the value of waiting and results in less immediate adoption of the GM technology. Additionally, the rules and regulations in the EU do provide incentives for the regional agglomeration of GM and non-GM crops that are mainly driven by the irreversibility effect of the ex-ante regulatory and ex-post liability costs.
    Keywords: Co-existence, GM crops, liability law, public regulation, technology adoption
    JEL: K13 O33 Q18
    Date: 2006–03
  13. By: Tim Coelli; Shannon Walding (CEPA - School of Economics, The University of Queensland)
    Abstract: Various government-owned businesses provide water supply services to Australian residents. With the advent of recent competition and regulatory reforms in infrastructure industries in Australia, more and more of these businesses are now facing new types of incentive-based regulatory regimes. This has led to a desire for more information on the performance of these businesses, both relative to each other and over time. In this study we use panel data on the 18 largest Australian water services businesses, observed over an eight-year period from 1995/6 to 2002/3, to measure the relative efficiency and productivity growth of these businesses. Data envelopment analysis (DEA) methods are used to obtain estimates of the multi-input, multi-output production technology. The potential use of these performance measures in price-cap regulation is discussed, where the effects of variable selection and data quality upon empirical results is emphasised.
    Date: 2005–06

General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.