nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒08‒19
seven papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. Agricultural Returns and Conflict: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from a Policy Intervention Programme in Rwanda By Florence Kondylis
  2. Investing cash transfers to raise long term living standards By Gertler, Paul; Martinez, Sebastian; Rubio-Codina, Marta
  3. University-local industry linkages : the case of Tohoku University in the Sendai area of Japan By Jiang, Juan; Harayama, Yuko; Abe, Shiro
  4. On the Robustness of Robustness Checks of the Environmental Kuznets Curve By Marzio Galeotti; Matteo Manera; Alessandro Lanza
  5. A Country-Level Analysis of Competitive Advantage in the Wine Industry By Richard Castaldi; Susan Cholette; Mahmood Hussain
  6. Modelling water policies with sustainability constraints: a dynamic accounting analysis By Fabio Fiorillo; Antonio Palestrini; Paolo Polidori; Claudio Socci
  7. Global Match: Helping Small Wineries Gain Access to Markets Worldwide By Susan Cholette

  1. By: Florence Kondylis
    Abstract: In 1994, the genocide in Rwanda caused massive waves of displacement. We use thesemigrations as a quasi-natural experiment to measure the cost of civil conflict. In 1997, thegovernment implemented a resettlement and land redistribution policy to improve theconditions for returnees and to induce conflict resolution. We assess the asset effect of theprogramme on agricultural output, and use this intervention as an instrument to measure skillspill-over mechanisms across returnees and stayers. Time differentials in the implementationof the policy across villages are used to identify its impact. Evidence that the policy wassuccessful in raising migrants' agricultural production by increasing access to land is found,as well as higher returns to on-farm labour among the returnees in all areas. However,evidence of lower returns to agricultural inputs for returnees in policy areas suggests that thepolicy induced a `ghetto effect'. The policy implications of this study are that, in order topromote durable peace, and therefore sustainable development in the region, these sources ofeconomic inequalities across groups need to be addressed.
    Keywords: Microeconomic cost of conflict, migrations, land redistribution, instrumentalvariable quantile regressions
    JEL: C4 O12 Q12 Q15 R15 R23
    Date: 2005–12
  2. By: Gertler, Paul; Martinez, Sebastian; Rubio-Codina, Marta
    Abstract: The authors test whether poor households use cash transfers to invest in income generating activities that they otherwise would not have been able to do. Using data from a controlled randomized experiment, they find that transfers from the Oportunidades program to households in rural Mexico resulted in increased investment in micro-enterprise and agricultural activities. For each peso transferred, beneficiary households used 88 cents to purchase consumption goods and services, and invested the rest. The investments improved the household ' s ability to generate income with an estimated rate of return of 17.55 percent, suggesting that these households were both liquidity and credit constrained. By investing transfers to raise income, beneficiary households were able to increase their consumption by 34 percent after five and a half years in the program. The results suggest that cash transfers to the poor may raise long-term living standards, which are maintained after program benefits end.
    Keywords: Economic Theory & Research,Small Area Estimation Poverty Mapping,Municipal Housing and Land,Land and Real Estate Development,Real Estate Development
    Date: 2006–08–01
  3. By: Jiang, Juan; Harayama, Yuko; Abe, Shiro
    Abstract: This paper focuses on Tohoku University in Sendai in the nonmetropolitan area of Japan. Both a long historical and comparative perspective and a spacial perspective are essential to discuss the relevance of university-local industry linkages to local regional economic development. The conjunction of these linkages and economic development has been affected by two evolutionary processes: institutional configurations and territorial dynamics in the national innovation system. In addition, university-local industry linkages have been complicated by top-down regionalization and bottom-up regionalism.
    Keywords: Tertiary Education,ICT Policy and Strategies,Agricultural Knowledge & Information Systems,Technology Industry,Rural Development Knowledge & Information Systems
    Date: 2006–08–01
  4. By: Marzio Galeotti; Matteo Manera (University of Milan-Bicocca); Alessandro Lanza (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: Since its first inception in the debate on the relationship between environment and growth in 1992, the Environmental Kuznets Curve has been subject of continuous and intense scrutiny. The literature can be roughly divided in two historical phases. Initially, after the seminal contributions, additional work aimed to extend the investigation to new pollutants and to verify the existence of an inverted-U shape as well as assessing the value of the turning point. The following phase focused instead on the robustness of the empirical relationship, particularly with respect to the omission of relevant explanatory variables other than GDP, alternative datasets, functional forms, and grouping of the countries examined. The most recent line of investigation criticizes the Environmental Kuznets Curve on more fundamental grounds, in that it stresses the lack of sufficient statistical testing of the empirical relationship and questions the very existence of the notion of Environmental Kuznets Curve. Attention is in particular drawn on the stationarity properties of the series involved - per capita emissions or concentrations and per capita GDP - and, in case of presence of unit roots, on the cointegration property that must be present for the Environmental Kuznets Curve to be a well-defined concept. Only at that point can the researcher ask whether the long-run relationship exhibits an inverted-U pattern. On the basis of panel integration and cointegration tests for sulphur, Stern (2002, 2003) and Perman and Stern (1999, 2003) have presented evidence and forcefully stated that the Environmental Kuznets Curve does not exist. In this paper we ask whether similar strong conclusions can be arrived at when carrying out tests of fractional panel integration and cointegration. As an example we use the controversial case of carbon dioxide emissions. The results show that more EKCs come back into life relative to traditional integration/cointegration tests. However, we confirm that the EKC remains a fragile concept.
    Keywords: Environment, Growth, CO2 Emissions, Panel Data, Fractional Integration, Panel Cointegration Tests,
    Date: 2006–05–18
  5. By: Richard Castaldi (San Francisco State University); Susan Cholette (San Francisco State University); Mahmood Hussain (San Francisco State University)
    Abstract: The purposes of this paper are (1) to examine driving forces and key success factors related to the increasing globalization of the wine industry, and (2) to analyze the current competitive advantage positions of four Old and five New World wine producing countries. Each country will be profiled using key industry data and analyzed regarding their national capabilities to address five key success factors that contribute to their national competitive advantage position. The countries fall into three groups with respect to their national comparative competitive advantage position. The group with the strongest competitive position includes United States, Australia, and Chile. Australia and Chile both have small populations that provide for a tiny domestic market with little potential for growth. However they are very well positioned to produce and export wine with their adaptive, large-scale producers and their great lure for foreign investments, providing them with a position of a strong competitive advantage. With respect to production, cost structures suggest Australia and Chile may be better positioned that the US. However, economies of scale and economies of scope in marketing offer an advantage to the US because it is a populous and affluent nation. While the US wine market is already significantly larger than Australia and Chile, it has even more potential to expand. The group of countries with moderate competitive advantages includes Italy, Spain, Argentina and South Africa. Lingering economic concerns and disadvantages of scale prevent Argentina from being ranked as competitively as neighboring Chile. Likewise, South Africa has strong marketing economies of scale and moderate production economies of scale, but currently domestic unrest has diminished its attraction for foreign investment and ability to expand its home market. In the Old World, Spain and Italy are hampered by decreased consumption rates and weak economies of scale in production. However, on the positive side, they have shown promise in their ability to adapt to an increasingly internationalized marketplace and to attract foreign investment. The countries with the weakest competitive advantage positions in the global wine industry are two traditional strongholds of wine production in the Old World: France and Germany. While they have large domestic markets, there is little opportunity for further growth. The concentration of production into small wineries, scarce land and labor, complex labeling practices and inability to leverage new production, and marketing techniques does not bode well for effective competition in a global market place. Nor does either country hold much potential for attracting foreign investment, save for some traditionally undervalued areas of France, like Languedoc. In conclusion, it is clear that the New World countries are currently positioned better to capitalize on the opportunities created through industry globalization and other current driving forces. Italy and Spain emerge as the best positioned Old World nations. This competitive advantage scenario should be a wake-up call to many wine producing countries. Indeed, some Old World countries have begun efforts to better adapt to industry-wide improvements in production and marketing practices. However, it is clear that many nations need to increase support that will encourage production and marketing innovations to improve their competitive advantage position to help local wineries succeed in the changing and increasingly competitive wine marketplace.
    Keywords: Wineries, Globalization, Competitive Advantage, Exports, Markets
    JEL: L11 M21 E32
    Date: 2006–05
  6. By: Fabio Fiorillo (University of Urbino and Opera); Antonio Palestrini (University of Teramo and Opera); Paolo Polidori (University of Urbino and Opera); Claudio Socci (Università Politecnica delle Marche and Opera)
    Abstract: The EU Directive 2000/60/EC, also known as the "Framework directive in the field of water policy", stresses the importance of water in human development processes and states that EU members should coordinate water policies towards a sustainable use of this resource; hence, water has a strategic role both for present and future generations and should be managed using a systemic approach. Sustainable policies for the management of water resources must also foresee the setting up of complex systems for analysis and evaluation which must be able to control and govern the entire water system, taking into account both sustainability and economic impacts of the policies adopted. In our paper, we propose a model which, on the one hand, describes the physical relationships among different economic activities and the natural water cycle , while allowing us, on the other hand, to evaluate the economic impact of water policy sustainability. For doing this, we integrate a material flow account approach in a national accounting scheme (NAMEA). This new framework allows the analyst to consider both the effect of given policies on the water cycle and the constraint produced by the sustainability problem on the economic system.
    Keywords: Management of Water Resources; Sustainability; Economic and Environmental Accounting Schemes; Economic Impact Evaluation.,
    Date: 2006–02–20
  7. By: Susan Cholette (San Francisco State University)
    Abstract: As the United States is predicted to become the world’s largest wine consuming nation by 2008 with consumers purchasing across all price segments, one might assume that Californian wineries should thrive in this market. However, regulations and consolidation effects often prevent small wineries from being able to reach the U.S. consumer and they face similar problems with exporting. These wineries must seek specialty distributors that represent lesser-known brands, usually by attending trade shows at great expense. In turn, specialty distributors face the daunting challenge of finding wineries that best satisfy their portfolios’ needs. Given this problematic situation, can one provide assistance to these parties in their quest for finding appropriate partners? While this question no doubt has many positive answers, the approach we have chosen to explore is to develop a web-based matching program. We ask wineries and distributors to submit their respective attributes and their needs via a web questionnaire. Operations research methodology is then used to algorithmically determine the most promising partnerships, subject to mutual fit and based on constraints of supply, demand and avoidance of conflicting matches. We summarize the results obtained from the initial iteration of the program, a pre-qualification service created for the World Wine Market, a San Francisco trade show in 2004. We provide some of the participant feedback, including testimonials from parties that were successfully matched through the program. We also analyze the results to determine why the program did not recommend a greater number of matches and used this information and other feedback to assist in the development of the next program iteration While the conceptual contribution of our research is in providing the first documented application of “assignment problems” to model the optimal placement of wines into the distribution tier, this paper focuses instead on the potential practitioner contributions to the wine industry. A functional web based matching program could provide many small wineries with a means to expand their representation into additional markets domestically and internationally. Even if only a small fraction of the recommended matches take place, the business return from participation has enormous potential. We discuss the current improvements, which being funded through a Business and International Education Grant from the U.S. Department of Education. We conclude with ideas for future research, including extending this program to a broader range of participants.
    Keywords: Wineries, Distributors, Exports, Matching, Optimization
    JEL: L14 C61
    Date: 2006–05

This nep-agr issue is ©2006 by Angelo Zago. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
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.