New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒11‒18
29 papers chosen by

  1. Agricultural Policies and Development of Myanmar's Agricultural Sector: An Overview By Fujita, Koichi; Okamoto, Ikuko
  2. Distributional effects of WTO agricultural reforms in rich and poor countries By Hertel, Thomas W.; Keeney, Roman; Ivanic, Maros; Winters, L. Alan
  3. Endogenous Technology Adoption Under Production Risk: Theory and Application to Irrigation Technology By Phoebe Koundouri; Celine Nauges; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  4. Forests, biomass use, and poverty in Malawi By Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit; Shyamsundar, Priya; Baccini, Alessandro
  5. Evaluating the Impact of Public and Private Agricultural Extension on Farms Performance: A Non-neutral Stochastic Frontier Approach By Ariel Dinar; Giannis Karagiannis; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  6. Interaction Between Food Attributes in Markets: The Case of Environmental Labeling By Gilles Grolleau; Julie A. Caswell
  7. Market Power in Direct Marketing of Fresh Produce: Community Supported Agriculture Farms By Daniel A. Lass; Nathalie Lavoie; T. Robert Fetter
  8. Expansion of Asparagus Production and Exports in Peru By Shimizu, Tatsuya
  9. Efficiency in Damage Control Inputs: A Stochastic Production Frontier Approach By Giannis Karagiannis; Efthymios Tsionas; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  11. Transformation of the Rice Marketing System and Myanmar's Transition to a Market Economy By Okamoto, Ikuko
  12. Information Acquisition and Adoption of Organic Farming Practices: Evidence from Farm Operations in Crete, Greece By Margarita Genius; Christos Pantzios; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  14. Trade Policy Lobbying in the European Union: Who Captures Whom? By Woll, Cornelia
  15. Design of Public Voluntary Environmental Programs for Nitrate Pollution in Agriculture: An Evolutionary Approach By Anastasios Xepapadeas et al; Constadina Passa
  16. Efficiency and environmental regulation: a "complex situation" By Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo; Diego Prior
  17. Participatory Approach in Decision Making Processes for Water Resources Management in the Mediterranean Basin By Carlo Giupponi; Jaroslav Mysiak; Jacopo Crimi
  18. The Effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on Grocery Prices in New England By Richard J. Volpe III; Nathalie Lavoie
  19. Parametric Decomposition of the Input-Oriented Malmquist Productivity Index: With an Application to Greek Aquaculture By Christos Pantzios; Vangelis Tzouvelekas; Giannis Karagiannis
  20. An Investigation of Voluntary Discovery and Disclosure of Environmental Violations Using Laboratory Experiments By James J. Murphy; John K. Stranlund
  21. Continuous versus Discrete Time Forest Management Models with Carbon Sequestration Benefits By Duarte, Clara Costa; Sa, Maria A. Cunha e
  22. Ecosystem Management in Models of Antagonistic Species Coevolution By William Brock; Anastasios Xepapadeas
  23. Heterogeneity and Common Pool Resources: Collective Management of Forests in Himachal Pradesh, India By Sirisha C. Naidu
  24. Collective (In)Action and Corruption: Access to Improved Water and Sanitation By Nejat Anbarci; Monica Escaleras; Charles Register
  25. Organizational Capability of Local Societies in Rural Development: A Comparative Study of Microfinance Organizations in Thailand and the Philippines By Shigetomi, Shinichi
  26. The Regulation of Food Advertising and Obesity Prevention in Europe: What Role for the European Union By Armandine Garde
  27. Valuing Biodiversity from an Economic Perspective: AUnified Economic, Ecological and Genetic Approach By William Brock; Anastasios Xepapadeas
  28. Explaining Output Growth of Sheep Farms in Greece: A Parametric Primal Approach By Giannis Karagiannis; Vangelis Tzouvelekas
  29. Willingness to Pay for Amateur Sport and Recreation Programs By Bruce K. Johnson; John C. Whitehead; Daniel S. Mason; Gordon J. Walker

  1. By: Fujita, Koichi; Okamoto, Ikuko
    Abstract: This paper reviews the development of the agricultural sector in Myanmar after the transition to an open economy in 1988 and analyzes the nature as well as the performance of the agricultural sector. The avoidance of social unrest and the maintenance of control by the regime are identified as the two key factors that have determined the nature of agricultural policy after 1988. A major consequence of agricultural policy has been a clear difference in development paths among the major crops. Production of crops that had a potential for development showed sluggish growth due to policy constraints, whereas there has been a self-sustaining increase in the output of those crops that have fallen outside the remit of agricultural policy.
    Keywords: Agriculture, Transition, Myanmar, Agricultural policy, Agricultural development
    JEL: P20 Q11 Q17 Q18
    Date: 2006–06
  2. By: Hertel, Thomas W.; Keeney, Roman; Ivanic, Maros; Winters, L. Alan
    Abstract: Rich countries ' agricultural trade policies are the battleground on which the future of the WTO ' s troubled Doha Round will be determined. Subject to widespread criticism, they nonetheless appear to be almost immune to serious reform, and one of their most common defenses is that they protect poor farmers. The authors ' findings reject this claim. The analysis uses detailed data on farm incomes to show that major commodity programs are highly regressive in the United States, and that the only serious losses under trade reform are among large, wealthy farmers in a few heavily protected subsectors. In contrast, analysis using household data from 15 developing countries indicates that reforming rich countries ' agricultural trade policies would lift large numbers of developing country farm households out of poverty. In the majority of cases these gains are not outweighed by the poverty-increasing effects of higher food prices among other households. Agricultural reforms that appear feasible, even under an ambitious Doha Round, achieve only a fraction of the benefits for developing countries that full liberalization promises, but protect U.S. large farms from most of the rigors of adjustment. Finally, the analysis indicates that maximal trade-led poverty reductions occur when developing countries participate more fully in agricultural trade liberalization.
    Keywords: Rural Poverty Reduction,Economic Theory & Research,Population Policies,Pro-Poor Growth and Inequality
    Date: 2006–11–01
  3. By: Phoebe Koundouri (Department of Economics, University of Reading, Reading, UK); Celine Nauges (LEERNA-INRA, Universite des Sciences Sociales, France); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to present a theoretical framework that conceptualizes technology adoption as a decision process involving information acquisition by farmers who face yield uncertainty and vary in their risk preferences. This is done by integrating the microeconomic foundations used to analyze production uncertainty at the farm level with the traditional technological adoption models. First we follow the approach of Antle (1987) based on higher-order moments of profit, which enables flexible estimation of the stochastic technology without ad hoc specification of risk preferences. Then individual risk preferences are derived, which are then used to explain farmer’s decision to adopt modern water saving technologies. The proposed model is applied to a randomly selected sample of 265 farms located in Crete, Greece. Results show that risk preferences affect the probability of adoption and provide evidence that farmers invest in new technologies as a means of hedging against input related production risk.
    Keywords: risk attitudes, technology adoption, stochastic agricultural production, momentsbased estimation
  4. By: Bandyopadhyay, Sushenjit; Shyamsundar, Priya; Baccini, Alessandro
    Abstract: In this paper, the authors seek to answer three questions about poverty and forests in Malawi: (1) What is the extent of biomass available for meeting the energy needs of the poor in Malawi and how is this distributed? (2) To what extent does fuelwood scarcity affect the welfare of the poor? (3) How do households cope with scarcity? In particular, do households spend more time in fuelwood collection and less time in agriculture in response to scarcity? The authors attempt to answer these questions using household and remote-sensing data. They find that 80 percent of rural poor households in Malawi are likely to benefit from an increase in biomass per hectare in their community. Rural women respond to biomass scarcity by increasing the time they spend on fuelwood collection. But the actual decrease in consumption expenditure and increase in time in fuelwood collection are small and biomass scarcity is not associated with a reduction in agricultural labor supply.
    Keywords: Renewable Energy,Crops & Crop Management Systems,Wildlife Resources,Climate Change,Ecosystems and Natural Habitats
    Date: 2006–11–01
  5. By: Ariel Dinar (Rural Development Departent, World Bank, USA); Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
  6. By: Gilles Grolleau (Centre d’Economie et Sociologie appliquées à l’Agriculture et aux Espaces Ruraux); Julie A. Caswell (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: Some consumers derive utility from using products produced with specific processes, such as environmentally friendly practices. Means of verifying these credence attributes, such as certification, are necessary for the market to function effectively. A substitute or complementary solution may exist when consumers perceive a relationship between a process attribute and other verifiable product attributes. We present a model where the level of search and experience attributes influences the likelihood of production of eco-friendly products. Our results suggest that the market success of ecofriendly food products requires a mix of environmental and other verifiable attributes that together signal credibility.
    Keywords: environmental labeling, food attributes, food marketing, quality perception
    JEL: L15 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2005–04
  7. By: Daniel A. Lass (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); Nathalie Lavoie (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); T. Robert Fetter (Science Applications International Corporation)
    Abstract: CSA farms establish a loyal customer base and, potentially, market power. A new empirical industrial organization (NEIO) approach and survey data from Northeast CSA farms are used to determine whether CSA farms have market power and the extent to which they exercise their market power. Results suggest CSA farms exert about two percent of their potential monopoly power.
    Keywords: Community Supported Agriculture; New Empirical Industrial Organization; Market Power; Fresh Produce; Organic Agriculture
    JEL: D42 L12 Q13
    Date: 2005–01
  8. By: Shimizu, Tatsuya
    Keywords: Agriculture, Exports, Asparagus, Peru, Vegetables
    JEL: F13 L70 N56 Q13
    Date: 2006–08
  9. By: Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece); Efthymios Tsionas (Department of Economics, Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: The present paper extents the existing literature providing a theoretically consistent framework for measuring input-specific technical efficiency in damage control inputs (i.e., pesticides) within a stochastic production frontier model. The theoretical framework for modeling damage control agents is based on Fox and Weersink (1995) model specification that allows for increasing returns on damage control inputs. The empirical model is applied on a cross-section data set of 844 crop farms in Greece during the 2003 period obtained from FADN database. The results suggest that crop farms in Greece are using rather inefficiently pesticides in their fields as their average technical efficiency level was 73.9%. On the other hand, technical efficiency in conventional factors of production was found to be lower on the average, 70.8%. Finally, our results indicate that farms that are technical efficient in the use of conventional inputs are also technical efficient in the use of damage control agents.
    Keywords: words: output damage function, pesticide-specific technical efficiency, crop farms, Greece.
    Date: 2005
  10. By: Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: This paper extends the primal decomposition of TFP changes to the case of non-neutral production frontiers. Output growth is decomposed into input growth (size effect), changes in technical efficiency, technical change, and the effect of returns to scale. Within the proposed formulation, however, technical efficiency changes are attributed not only to autonomous changes (i.e., passage of time) but also to changes in input use and in the not-so-fixed farm characteristics. The empirical model is based on a heteroscedastic non-neutral production frontier and an unbalanced panel data set of sheep farms in Greece for the period 1989-92. The technical efficiency change effect is found to be the main source of TFP growth, followed by technical change and the scale effect, which has caused a 0.35% output slowdown The not-so-fixed farm characteristics have been the most important determinant of technical efficiency changes, followed by changes in input use.
  11. By: Okamoto, Ikuko
    Abstract: Creating a rice marketing system has been one of the central policy issues in Myanmar's move to a market economy since the end of the 1980s. Two liberalizations of rice marketing were implemented in 1987 and 2003. This paper examines the essential aspects of the liberalizations and the subsequent transformation of Myanmar's rice marketing sector. It attempts to bring into clearer focus the rationale of the government's rice marketing reforms which is to maintain a stable supply of rice at a low price to consumers. Under this rationale, however, the state rice marketing sector continued to lose efficiency while the private sector was allowed to develop on condition that it did not jeopardize the rationale of stable supply at low price. The paper concludes that the prospect for the future development of the private rice marketing sector is dim since a change in the rice market's rationale is unlikely. Private rice exporting is unlikely to be permitted, while the domestic market is approaching the saturation point. Thus, there is little momentum for the private rice sector to undertake any substantial expansion of investment.
    Keywords: Myanmar, Rice, Marketing system, Liberalization, Marketing, Transition to market economy
    JEL: P39 Q13 Q18
    Date: 2006–10
  12. By: Margarita Genius (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece); Christos Pantzios; Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: The objective of the paper is to model the degree of organic farming adoption as well as the importance of technical information acquisition in the adoption decision process. In doing so, a trivariate ordered probit model is specified and implemented in the case of organic farming adoption in Crete, Greece. The results suggest that the decisions of information acquisition and adoption are indeed correlated and different farming information sources play a complementary role. Policies required to encourage organic farming adoption should be primarily structural while the provision of technical information is more crucial than conversion subsidies if total organic adoption is to be pursued.
    Keywords: Technology adoption, information acquisition, organic farming, Crete, Greece
    JEL: Q16 O31 D21 C35
  13. By: A.Banerji (Delhi School of Economics); Gauri Khanna (Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva); J.V. Meenakshi (Delhi School of Economics, and International Food Policy Research Institute, Washington, D.C.)
    Abstract: This paper analyzes the institutions and markets that govern groundwater allocation in the sugarcane belt of Uttar Pradesh, India, using primary, plot-level data from a village which shares the typical features of this region. Electricity powers tubewell pumps, and its erratic supply translates into randomness in irrigation volumes. The paper finds that plots are water-rationed, owing to inadequate supply of power. A simple model shows that a combination of such rationing and the village-level mechanism of water sales can lead to great misallocation of water across plots, and result in large crop losses for plots that irrigate using purchased water. We infer the existence of a social contract that mitigates these potential losses in the study area to a remarkable extent; in its absence, average yields are estimated to be 18% lower. The finding that the water allocation is close to efficient (given the power supply) marks a sharp contrast with much of the existing literature. Notwithstanding the social contract, the random and inadequate supply of power, and therefore water, is inefficient. The dysfunctional power supply is part of a larger system of poor incentives to produce reliable and adequate power. In simulations we find that such reliability can improve yields by up to 10 %, and pay for a system of electricity pricing that gives incentives to the power supplier to actually provide adequate power. However, even at reasonably high power prices, irrigation volumes are large enough to continue to seriously deplete the water table. The problem is that traditional rights of water use do not take into account the shadow price of the groundwater. We provide a rough first analysis to suggest that a 15% markup on the economic unit cost of providing electricity would make for intertemporally efficient water use.
    Keywords: Water markets, water tables, water production function, water pricing.
    JEL: L1 Q1 Q2
    Date: 2006–11
  14. By: Woll, Cornelia
    Keywords: lobbying; interest representation; European Commission; political economy; trade policy; international trade; protectionism; liberalization; agriculture policy; telecommunication policy
    Date: 2006–10–11
  15. By: Anastasios Xepapadeas et al (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece); Constadina Passa (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: The joint evolution of participation and compliance of farmers in a public VA, along with the evolution of the pollution stock is examined. Replica- tor dynamics, modeling participation and compliance, are combined with pollution stock dynamics. Fast-slow selection dynamics are used to capture the fact that distinct decisions to participate in and comply with the public VA evolve in di¤erent time scales. Conditions for evolutionary equilibria and evolutionary stable strategies regarding participation and compliance are derived. Depending on the structure of the legislation and auditing probability, polymorphic equilibria indicating partial participation and par- tial compliance or monomorphic equilibria of full (or non) compliance could be the outcome of the evolutionary processes. Multiple equilibria and irre- versibilities are possible, while convergence to evolutionary equilibria could be monotonic or oscillating. Full participation and compliance can be at- tained if the regulator is pre-committed to certain legislation and inspection probabilities, or by appropriate choices of the legislatively set emission level and the non-compliance …ne. Budget constraints associated with monitoring costs seem to produce polymorphic equilibria.
    Keywords: Voluntary agreements, participation, compliance, evolution-
    JEL: Q2 L5
    Date: 2005
  16. By: Andrés J. Picazo-Tadeo (Departamento de Economía Aplicada II, Universitat de Valencia); Diego Prior (Department of Business Economics, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona)
    Abstract: Production of desirable outputs is often accompanied by undesirable by-products that have damaging effects on the environment, and whose disposal is frequently regulated by public authorities. In this paper, we compute directional technology distance functions under particular assumptions concerning disposability of bads in order to test for the existence of what we call ‘complex situations’, where the biggest producer is not the greatest polluter. Furthermore, we show that how in such situations, environmental regulation could achieve an effective reduction in the aggregate level of bad outputs without reducing the production of good outputs. Finally, we illustrate our methodology with an empirical application to a sample of Spanish tile ceramic producers.
    Keywords: environmental regulation, efficiency, disposability of bads
    JEL: C61 D21 L68
    Date: 2005–04
  17. By: Carlo Giupponi (Università degli Studi di Milano and Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Jaroslav Mysiak (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei); Jacopo Crimi (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei)
    Abstract: This paper deals with the comparative analysis of different policy options for water resources management in three south-eastern Mediterranean countries. The applied methodology follows a participatory approach throughout its implementation and is supported by the use of three different software packages dealing with water allocation budget, water quality simulation, and Multi Criteria Analysis, respectively. The paper briefly describes the general objectives of the SMART project and then presents the three local case studies, the valuation objectives and the applied methodology - developed as a general replicable framework suitable for implementation in other decision-making processes. All the steps needed for a correct implementation are therefore described. Following the conceptualisation of the problem, the choice of the appropriate indicators as well as the calculation of their weighting and value functions are detailed. The paper concludes with the results of the Multi Criteria and the related Sensitivity Analyses performed, showing how the different policy responses under consideration can be assessed and furthermore compared through case studies thanks to their relative performances. The adopted methodology was found to be an effective operational approach for bridging scientific modelling and policy making by integrating the model outputs in a conceptual framework that can be understood and utilised by non experts, thus showing concrete potential for participatory decision making.
    Keywords: Scientific Advice, Policy-Making, Participatory Modelling, Decision Support
    JEL: Q01 Q25 Q28 Q5
    Date: 2006–08
  18. By: Richard J. Volpe III (Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of California at Davis); Nathalie Lavoie (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This study examines the competitive price effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters on national brand and private label grocery prices in New England. For this purpose, we use primary price data collected on a basket of identical products from six Supercenters in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island as well as a sample of conventional supermarkets. Taking into account demographics, store characteristics, and market conditions, we estimate the average prices charged by (1) Supercenters, (2) supermarkets competing directly with Supercenters, and by (3) supermarkets geographically distant from Supercenters. By comparing prices at competing stores and at distant stores, we show that the effect of Wal-Mart Supercenters is to decrease prices by 6 to 7 percent for national brand goods and 3 to 7 percent for private label goods. Price decreases are most significant in the dry grocery and dairy departments. Moreover, Wal-Mart sets prices significantly lower than its competitors in the food industry.
    Keywords: Wal-Mart; Supermarket Competition; Grocery Prices; National Brands, Private Labels
    JEL: D21 D43 L11 L13 L81
    Date: 2006–10
  19. By: Christos Pantzios; Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece); Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece)
    Abstract: Using a stochastic frontier approach and a tranlog input distance function, this paper implements the input-oriented Malmquist productivity index to a sample of Greek aquaculture farms. It is decomposed into the effects of technical efficiency change, scale efficiency change, input-mix and, technical change, which is further attributed to neutral, output- and input-induced shifts of the frontier. Implementable expressions for the aforementioned components are obtained using a discrete changes-approach that is consistent with the usual discrete-form data. Empirical findings indicate that the productivity of the farms in the sample increased during the period 1995-99 at a moderate rate of about two percent, and it was shaped up primarily by the input mix-effect and technical change.
    Keywords: Malmquist productivity index; stochastic input distance function; Greek aquaculture farms
    Date: 2005
  20. By: James J. Murphy (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst); John K. Stranlund (Department of Resource Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst)
    Abstract: This paper uses laboratory experiments to test individual responses to policies that seek to encourage firms to voluntarily discover and disclose violations of environmental standards. We find that while it is possible to motivate a significant number of voluntary disclosures without adversely affecting environmental quality, this result is sensitive to both the fine for disclosed violations and the assumption that firms know their compliance status without cost. When firms have to expend resources to determine their compliance status, motivating a significant number of violation disclosures yields worse environmental quality. Finally, relative to conventional enforcement, disclosure polices will result in more violations being sanctioned, but fewer of these sanctions are for violations that are uncovered by the government.
    Keywords: enforcement, compliance, environmental standards, self-reporting, self-auditing voluntary disclosure
    JEL: C91 L51 Q58
    Date: 2005–09
  21. By: Duarte, Clara Costa; Sa, Maria A. Cunha e
    Abstract: Forest literature uses both continous and discrete time models to study forest management problems, and when carbon sequestration benefits are considered, the results obtained in both approaches are not always equivalent. This issue is relevant from a policy point of view if credits are to be allocated to forest owners within the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. This note explores the impact of different carbon sequestration accounting methods on both settings. It studies the specific conditions for optimal rotation period and the value of a marginal unit of bare land on a one stand model and compare them with the long run optimal stationary steady state of a forest vintage model.
    Date: 2006
  22. By: William Brock (University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics, USA); Anastasios Xepapadeas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Date: 2004–12–26
  23. By: Sirisha C. Naidu (Wright State University)
    Abstract: In the past two decades, theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that communities of resource users are capable of overcoming social dilemmas, and are capable of creating and sustaining institutions designed to prevent degradation of common pool natural resources. However, there is incomplete understanding of what motivates this group-level behavior and why some communities are better adept at solving collective action problems than others. This paper specifically explores the role of group heterogeneity in collective action among forest communities in the northwestern Himalayas. Heterogeneity can have important social and ecological consequences and understanding both its nature and effects can help in neutralizing the negative and enhancing the positive. Based on data from 54 forest communities in Himachal Pradesh, India, this paper finds that heterogeneity has at least three dimensions: wealth, identity and interest, and each may significantly affect collective actions related to natural resource management. However, their effects are far from simple and linear.
    Keywords: common pool resources, group outcomes, heterogeneity, forests
    JEL: D63 D71 H41 Q23 Q57
    Date: 2005–11
  24. By: Nejat Anbarci (Department of Economics, Florida International University); Monica Escaleras (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University); Charles Register (Department of Economics, Florida Atlantic University)
    Abstract: A country’s levels of collective action in the provision of socially desirable goods and services are primarily determined by its level of development, important natural attributes, and its unique institutional characteristics. In general, one can expect that, given a particular set of natural attributes and institutions, the greater a county’s per capita GDP, the more extensive will be its commitment to the provision of goods and services that require collective action. The primary contention of this paper is that one of the most important aspects of institutions that affect socially desirable collective action is the extent of public sector corruption. More specifically, we first develop a theoretical model which explicitly shows the relations between per capita GDP, corruption, and collective action in the form of the provision of improved drinking water and appropriate sanitation facilities. We test our model by analyzing a sample of 77 countries, annually, between 1982 and 2001, for a total sample of 1,519 observations. Relying on a two-way fixed effects estimation strategy, we find that corruption does in fact lead to lower levels of both access to improved drinking water and appropriate sanitation than a given country’s level of per capita GDP and other institutions alone would predict.
    Keywords: Collective Action, corruption, institutional variables
    JEL: D31 H41 P16
    Date: 2006–01
  25. By: Shigetomi, Shinichi
    Abstract: The importance of organizing local people for development work is widely recognized. Both governmental and non-governmental agencies have implemented various projects that have needed and encouraged collective action by people. Often, however, such projects malfunction after the outside agencies retreat from the project site, suggesting that making organizations is not the same as making a system of making organizations. The latter is essential to make rural organizations self-reliant and sustainable. This paper assumes that such a system exists in local societies and focuses on the capacity of local societies for creating and managing organizations for development. It reveals that (1) such capability differs according to the locality, (2) the difference depends on the structure of the organizations that coordinate people's social relations, and (3) the local administrative bodies define, at least partly, the organizational capability of local societies. We compare two rural societies, one in Thailand and the other in the Philippines, which show clear contrasts in both the form of microfinance organizations and the way of making these organizations.
    Keywords: Local organization, Rural society, Rural development, Microfinance, Local administration, Thailand, Philippines
    JEL: O18 O53 Q00 Z13
    Date: 2006–02
  26. By: Armandine Garde
    Abstract: Since 1998, the World Health Organisation has recognised obesity as a problem of epidemic proportions. As none of the EU Member States is spared, the European Commission has recently published a Green Paper aimed at gathering evidence on how it could develop an obesity prevention strategy at European level. It is therefore the right moment to reflect on the principles which should guide EU policy in this field. This paper concentrates on one particular aspect of obesity prevention, namely the role that the European Union can play to curb the epidemic by regulating how food is marketed to consumers. That is not to say that the regulation of food advertising will, on its own, solve this public health issue. Obesity being by definition a multifactorial disease, the concerted action of all stakeholders is crucial to the successful outcome of the strategy which the Commission will choose to adopt
    Keywords: law; European law; competences; harmonisation
    Date: 2006–05–01
  27. By: William Brock (University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics, USA); Anastasios Xepapadeas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: We develop a conceptual framework for valuing biodiversity from an economic perspective. We consider biodiversity important because of a number of characteristics or services that it provides or enhances. We argue for a dynamic economic welfare measure of biodiversity that complements the existing literature on benefit-cost approaches and genetic distance/phylogenic tree approaches, which to date have been more static. Using a unified model of optimal economic management of an ecosystem under ecological and genetic constraints, we identify gains realized by management policies leading to a more diverse system, using the Bellman state valuation function of the problem. We show that a more diverse system could attain a higher value even though the genetic distance of the species in the more diverse system could be almost zero. We relate this endogenous measure of the biodiversity value to ecologically/biologically oriented biodiversity metrics (species richness, Shannon or Simpson indices).
  28. By: Giannis Karagiannis (Department of Economics, University of Macedonia, Greece); Vangelis Tzouvelekas (Department of Economics, University of Crete, Greece)
    Abstract: This paper provides a parametric decomposition of output growth of sheep farms in Greece using an integrated primal approach, in which output growth is attributed to input growth (size effect), changes in technical efficiency, technical change, and the scale effect. The empirical results indicate that the scale effect, which has not been taken into account by previous studies, has a significant role in explaining output growth and TFP changes. It was found that during the period 1989-92 it caused a 0.61% output slowdown and it was the second main source of TFP changes after technical progress. Consequently, there would have been significant biases in TFP measurement by not accounting for the scale effect.
  29. By: Bruce K. Johnson; John C. Whitehead; Daniel S. Mason; Gordon J. Walker
    Abstract: A Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) survey in Alberta, Canada allows estimation of the household willingness to pay (WTP) for enhancements in the province’s extensive sport and recreation programs. The estimated annual WTP of $18.33 per household for small enhancements in the programs far exceeds the estimated willingness to pay of households in the United States to avoid the loss of major league sports teams, as determined in previous CVM studies. Those opposed to gambling, which helps to fund the Alberta programs, are more likely to favor using income taxes to finance expansions.
    Date: 2006

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