nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒07‒15
thirteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. FAPRI 2006 U.S. and World Agricultural Outlook By FAPRI Staff
  2. Collective Marketing Arrangements for Geographically Differentiated Agricultural Products: Welfare Impacts and Policy Implications By Sergio H. Lence; Stephan Marette; Dermot J. Hayes; William E. Foster
  3. Skill Needs and Policies for Agriculture-led Pro-poor Development By Matthias Grossmann (SKOPE) and Mark Poston (DFID)
  4. Toward Environmental Responsibility of Thai Shrimp Farming through a Voluntary Management Scheme By Tipparat Pongthanapanich; Eva Roth
  5. Socio-economic Impact in a Region in the Southern Part of Jutland by the Establishment of a Plant for Processing of Bio Ethanol By Henning P. Jørgensen; Kurt Hjort-Gregersen
  6. Water Trade in Andalusia. Virtual Water: an alternative way to manage water demand By Esther Velázquez
  7. An Optimal Corrective Tax for Thai Shrimp Farming By Tipparat Pongthanapanich
  8. Partnerships for Sustainable Forest Management: Lessons from the Ecuadorian Choco By Laura Rival (QEH)
  9. Health Information and the Choice of Fish Species: An Experiment Measuring the Impact of Risk and Benefit Information By Stephan Marette; Jutta Roosen; Sandrine Blanchemanche; Philippe Verger
  10. Understanding rural change - demography as a key to the future By Amcoff, Jan; Westholm, Erik
  11. Commercialisation, Commodification And Gender Relations In Post Harvest Systems For Rice In South Asia By Barbara Harriss-White (QEH)
  12. Rural Population Growth in Sweden in the 1990s: Unexpected Reality or Spatial-Statistical Chimera By Amcoff, Jan
  13. Ratcheting in Renewable Resources Contracting By Urs Steiner Brandt; Frank Jensen; Lars Gårn Hansen; Niels Vestergaard

  1. By: FAPRI Staff
    Date: 2006–01
  2. By: Sergio H. Lence; Stephan Marette (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Dermot J. Hayes (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD)); William E. Foster
    Abstract: This paper examines the incentive of atomistic agricultural producers within a specific geographical region to differentiate and collectively market products. We develop a model that allows us to analyze the market and welfare effects of the main types of real-world producer organizations, using it to derive economic insights regarding the circumstances under which these organizations will evolve, and describing implications of the results obtained in the context of an ongoing debate between the European Union and United States. As the anticipated fixed costs of development and marketing increase and the anticipated size of the market falls, it becomes essential to increase the ability of the producer organization to control supply in order to ensure the coverage of fixed costs. Whenever a collective organization allows a market (with a new product) to exist that otherwise would not have existed there is an increase in societal welfare. Counterintuitively, stronger property right protection for producer organizations may be welfare enhancing even after a differentiated product has been developed. The reason for this somewhat paradoxical result is that legislation aimed at curtailing the market power of producer organizations may induce large technological distortions.
    Keywords: agricultural products, collective promotion, geographic indications, supply control, quality.
    Date: 2006–05
  3. By: Matthias Grossmann (SKOPE) and Mark Poston (DFID)
    Abstract: Poverty reduction is the mantra of development policies today. Three out of every four people in the developing world live in rural areas, either directly or indirectly depending on agriculture. Agriculture-led development strategies need to be at the core of any poverty reduction strategy, as agroindustralisation, i.e. the transition towards more commercialised agriculture systems, can bear positive effects for the poor, such as off-farm employment creation and stimulated economic growth in general. In order to reap these potential benefits, it is crucial to address the specific skill needs that occur at different levels of agroindustrialisation. Currently, agricultural education and training (AET) systems fail to respond to these challenges, which is reflected in a high fragmentation of AET systems in the developing world and a lack of donor initiatives in middle-level training projects. Evidence from developing and developed countries reveal that skill strategies need to be integrated into a coherent rural development strategy that aims at addressing the important constraints to agriculture-led development, which are widespread, especially in low developed economies.
  4. By: Tipparat Pongthanapanich (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University); Eva Roth (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: The implementation of voluntary adoption of the Code of Conduct (CoC) to promote environmental responsibility and sustainable development of Thai shrimp industry is examined. Farmers’ perceived- benefits, risks and uncertain-ties associated with the adoption and their perceived extra fixed cost are found to be the critical conditions to the success of the program. Improvement of farmers’ perception through increased information and knowledge, develop-ment of supportive policies and mechanisms (i.e. a “Group CoC” system, insur-ance program, a combination of environmental policy approaches) and strengthening farmer organizations and networks among and between the play-ers throughout the market chain are suggested as to enhance the adoption and implementation of the scheme.
    Keywords: Thai Shrimp, Coastal Land Environment, Voluntary Approach, Code of Conduct
    JEL: Q22 Q24 Q55
    Date: 2006–03
  5. By: Henning P. Jørgensen (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark); Kurt Hjort-Gregersen (Production and Technology Division)
    Abstract: A cooperation between The Farmers Association of Southern Jutland, Institute of Food Economics Department of Environmental and Business Economics, USD, and Centre for Rural Development, hosting Leader+ Denmark This report is a translation of the original report in Danish: (Jørgensen, H. P. and K. H.-Gregersen: Estimerede økonomiske virkninger i Syd- og Sønderjyl-land ved etablering af et anlæg til fremstilling af bioethanol, September 2003).
    Date: 2005–09
  6. By: Esther Velázquez (Department of Economics, Universidad Pablo de Olavide)
    Abstract: The main idea of this paper is to analyse the relationships between the productive process and the commercial trade with water resources used by them. For that, the first goal is to find out, by means of the estimation of virtual water, the exported crops which have the highest water consumption. Similarly, we analyse the crops that are imported and therefore, might contribute to save water. The second objective is to put forward new ways to save water by means of the virtual water trade. This first conclusion contradicts not only the comparative advantages theory but also the environmental sustainability logic. The previous conclusion is derived from the great exports of water via potatoes and vegetables, and also via citrus fruit and orchards; and, on the other hand, from the imports, such as cereals and arable crops, with lower water requirements. The second conclusion affirms as Andalusia utilises large amounts of water in its exports, and in turn, it does not produce goods with low water requirements, the potential saving would be very significant if the terms of our trade were the other way round. We are convinced that the agricultural sector must modify the use of water to a great extent in order to reach significant water savings and an environmental sustainability path.
    Keywords: Virtual Water, Water Trade, Water Demand, Andalusia
    JEL: Q25
    Date: 2006–07
  7. By: Tipparat Pongthanapanich (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Faculty of Economics, Kasetsart University)
    Abstract: “If Thai shrimp farming were taxed, how much should it be?” is the key re-search question of this paper. The dynamic-constraint optimization model in-corporating accumulated nutrient load from farm discharges is applied in the analysis. The model implies some tax has to be imposed on stock externality that is equal to increasing shadow cost of nutrient stock before damage occurs. However, the simulation results show very small shadow costs at the beginning of the paths and indicate that nutrient load in Andaman has a negligible effect on the sea but significant on the Gulf of Thailand. A socially efficient level of production for Thailand would be around 70-80% of private optimal produc-tion. The tax regime ensures a higher net gain from trade than at private opti-mum but it is ambiguous in term of net social welfare.
    Keywords: Green tax, stock externality, shrimp farming, Gulf of Thailand, Andaman Sea
    Date: 2005–04
  8. By: Laura Rival (QEH)
    Abstract: This paper analyses comparatively the development of two coalitions for the sustainable forest management of remaining portions of the Ecuadorian Chocó owned by indigenous communities. One coalition, a network of environmental NGOs, promotes the co-operative commercialisation of community timber and puts pressure on timber merchants to raise the price they pay to producers. The other comprises a large forestry and wood-processing group which has joint ventures with a number of indigenous communities, and which is now seeking green certification for its logging operations. Both coalitions operate locally by promoting and implementing community forestry projects, and nationally by participating in the elaboration of Ecuador's new forest law. Various activities promoted by the two coalitions are compared: land titling; local-level conservation; the building of new community institutions; local-level social development; attempts to reform wood markets; and policy reform at the national level. The paper attempts to explain why both coalitions have tended to stereotype traditional Chocoan forest dwellers according to fixed ethnic categories, while overlooking their basic economic needs, values and development aspirations. Local communities have benefited from these partnerships in terms of land titling and training, but have not seen improvements in what they value most, the adequate provision of health and education services. The paper ends with a discussion of the factors contributing to the successful building of pro-poor coalitions
  9. By: Stephan Marette (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD); Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute (FAPRI)); Jutta Roosen; Sandrine Blanchemanche; Philippe Verger
    Abstract: An experiment was conducted in France to evaluate the impact of health information on consumers' choice between two different types of fish. Successive messages revealing risks (methylmercury) and benefits (omega-3s) of consuming the fish, along with consumption recommendations, were delivered. Results show a significant difference of reaction according to the order and type of information. The information about risks had a larger marginal impact on change in willingness to pay (WTP) than did the information about benefits. While the results show that detailed messages on risks/benefits, including recommendations for nutrition behavior, matter in the modification of WTP, 40% of respondents did not change their initial choices after the revelation of health information.
    Keywords: experimental economics, fish consumption, health information, nutrition.
    JEL: C9 D8 I1
    Date: 2006–04
  10. By: Amcoff, Jan (Institute for Futures Studies); Westholm, Erik (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: The last decades have seen a rapidly growing interest in foresight methodology. Methods have been developed in corporate and governmental communication exercises often labelled technology foresight. In reality, these foresights have often drifted into processes of social change, since technological change is hard to foresee beyond what is already in the pipe-line. Forecasting of social change, however, must be based on solid knowledge about the mechanisms of continuity and change. Virtually nothing can be said about the future without relating to the past; foresights and futures studies are about revealing the hidden pulse of history. Hence, the answer to forecasting the future is empirical research within the social sciences. <p> Demographic change has been recognised as a key determinant for explaining social change. Population changes are fairly predictable and the age transition can explain a wide range of socio-economic changes. For rural futures, demographic change is a key issue, since age structure in rural areas is often uneven and also unstable due to migration patterns. A number of policy related questions as well as research challenges are raised as a consequence.
    Keywords: demographic change; rural futures
    JEL: R11 R23
    Date: 2006–04
  11. By: Barbara Harriss-White (QEH)
    Abstract: When the output of a product that has been the basis of subsistence and social reproduction - as rice has been in Asia - expands, the marketed surplus rises disproportionately to the growth rate of production. Post harvest activities that were part and parcel of the reproductive activity of household labour (in the hands and under the feet of women - even if under the control of men) then also become commercialised. Firms expand in number and labour markets sprout up as firms become differentiated in size, scale and activity. Food security comes to depend not only on the market but also on the social and political structures in which markets are embedded. One of these social structures is gender. Two aspects of this gendered process are explored in this essay. The first is 'productive deprivation' which was argued by Ester Boserup to be the most notable impact of development on women. Using field evidence comparatively from four regions of South Asia from the 1970s to the present, the impact of the waves of technological change accompanying concentration and differentiation in rice markets is shown to be strongly net labour displacing and strongly biased against female labour. Nevertheless productive deprivation is class specific and masculinisation still co-exists with a high general level of female economic participation. To start to explain why productive deprivation is class specific the essay offers a development of Ursula Huws' theory of commodification and its impact on women in advanced capitalist conditions - elaborating it for conditions of mass poverty. Poverty is shown to limit the relevance of this gendered theory. Poverty is also an important reason for the persistence of petty commodity production and trade and petty service provision. Under petty production women are either self employed or unwaged family workers for men who are themselves not fully independent but frequently dependent on money advances from commercial capital. Evidence from West Bengal in the 1990s - where the growth of rice production has eased up - shows by contrast that the process of commodification has not eased up at all. Products, by-products, intermediate and investment goods, waste, public goods, state regulative resources and labour are all relentlessly commodified. The process creates livelihoods mainly for young, low caste men. Low caste women dominate itinerant retailing, directly dependent on money advances from male wholesalers. Women are being displaced from the rice mill labour forces in which economies of scale are pitched against unwaged work in petty production. The subordinated status and double work burden of women in petty production is well known, as is their economic dependence and social insecurity. (rice - masculinisation - commodification - comparative regional analysis - comparative institutional analysis).
  12. By: Amcoff, Jan (Institute for Futures Studies)
    Abstract: Though estimating rural population change at first glance seems simple, it in fact involves methodological difficulties and requires the accommodation of definitional ambiguities. This article addresses the matter of urban spillover in rural population development. Simply stated, "urban spillover" here refers to how urban localities tend to push a ring of diffuse urban growth outwards as they expand in area. If constant delimitations of urban localities and rural areas are employed, their definitions will de facto change, and what is actually diffuse urban growth will be treated as rural. If the spatial areas used are constructed from predefined areas (e.g. census enumeration areas), the effect of arbitrary geographical subdivision is added. These effects of urban spillover in different methods of estimating rural population change are illustrated here using Swedish data, which are suitable for this purpose given their high spatial resolution. The data do not support the existence of any actual rural population growth in Sweden in the 1990s, apart from the effects of urban spillover. We also show that urban spillover varies geographically depending on the measurement method used.
    Keywords: urban spillover; urban localities; counterurbanisation; reclassification; rural population
    JEL: R00
    Date: 2005–12
  13. By: Urs Steiner Brandt (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark); Frank Jensen (Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark); Lars Gårn Hansen (Institute of Local Government Studies, Denmark); Niels Vestergaard (Department of Environmental and Business Economics, University of Southern Denmark)
    Abstract: Real life implies that public procurement contracting of renewable resources results in repeated interaction between a principal and the agents. The present paper analyses ratchet effects in contracting of renewable resources and how the presence of a resource constraint alters the “standard” ratchet effect result. We use a linear reward scheme to influence the incentives of the agents. It is shown that for some renewable resources we might end up both with more or with less pooling in the first-period compared to a situation without a resource constraint. The reason is that the resource constraint implies a smaller performance de-pendent bonus, which reduces the first-period cost from concealing information but at the same time the resource constraint may also imply that second-period benefits from this concealment for the efficient agent are reduced. In situations with high likelihood of first-period pooling, the appropriateness of applying lin-ear incentive schemes can be questioned.
    Keywords: Political support function, political economy, environmental regula-tion, lobbyism, rent-seeking, taxation, auction, grandfathering, emission trad-ing, European Union, interest groups, industry, consumers, environmentalists
    JEL: Q28 H2 H4
    Date: 2004–09

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