nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒04
nine papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
Universita degli Studi di Verona

  1. The redefinition of Europe's Less Favoured Areas By Dax, Thomas
  2. Farmers’ Suicides and Response of Public Policy: Evidence, Diagnosis and Alternatives from Punjab By Gill, Anita; Singh, Lakhwinder
  3. The on-going CAP-reform – incentive for a shift towards rural development activities? By Dax, Thomas
  4. Economic Evidence of Willingness to Pay for the National Animal Identification System in the US By Resende-Filho, Moises; Buhr, Brian
  5. Managerial Strategies of the Cotton South By Saito, Tetsuya
  7. Estimating Heterogeneous Capacity and Capacity Utilization in a Multi-Species Fishery By Ronald G. Felthovan Author=Name: William C. Horrace; Kurt E. Schnier
  8. Decentralization and environment By Dalmazzone Silvana

  1. By: Dax, Thomas
    Abstract: The support scheme for farming in less-favoured areas, established by the European Union in 1975, marked a major change in the nature of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) by introducing for the first time regional categories. It also represented the initiation of direct annual payments to farmers, an approach which was to expand greatly in the 1990s and thereafter. Over a long period it had remained the only significant structural measure of agricultural policy with a territorial dimension. Only recent policy reforms changed this situation: commodity market support was gradually decreased and, on the other hand, the environmental implications of policy measures were increasingly emphasised. Discussions on the interrelations of the Less-Favoured Areas (LFA) scheme with Agri-Environmental Measures (AEM) and other elements of the Rural Development Programmes (RDP) have been intensified as the political and financial weight of the programmes gained in importance. This paper focuses on the objectives and relevance of the LFA support scheme, its application in the EU and the main elements of the debate for the redefinition of LFA support. From the very beginning, LFA policy was conceived as a structural policy aimed at the prevention of land abandonment, to preserve the farming population in these areas and maintain cultural landscapes. In this regard, the instrument was one of the first measures to address environmentally beneficial farming systems, and thus reveals high coincidence with High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems. The three types of LFA, mountain areas, other LFAs and areas affected by specific handicaps take account of the range of geographical differences in the production difficulties of EU agriculture. The increased focus on environmental aims resulted in a discussion of the ‘intermediate’ areas, the category of other LFAs. It has been proposed that the socio-economic criterion in determining these areas should be dropped, but the aim to maintain land management in marginal areas would be kept. Meanwhile, the decision on the redefinition of the LFAs has been postponed (to 2010). Nevertheless the issue will keep a central role in policy discussions of the future Rural Development Programmes.
    Keywords: Less-Favoured Areas; Common Agricultural Policy; rural development; mountain areas
    JEL: R52 R58 Q18
    Date: 2005–11–15
  2. By: Gill, Anita; Singh, Lakhwinder
    Abstract: Slow transformation of a developing economy gradually shifts surpluses and substantially reduces the importance of the agricultural sector of the economy. This has been recognized as a healthy characteristic of the capitalist economic development. Crisis of this transformation emerges when the surpluses are rapidly extracted but dependence of workforce remains on agriculture sector. Organization of farm production on the lines of capitalist farming reduces farmers to managers of production and increases continuously unemployment of labour. The state led green revolution in Punjab based on assured market and remunerative prices of agricultural production in the early green revolution period has considerably increased the income of the farmers irrespective of farm size. Stagnation of the green revolution technology, rise in the cost of living, lack of alternative employment opportunities and near freeze in the minimum support prices has generated a crisis of unprecedented scale. Diversification attempts of the farmers for alternative remunerative outcomes have further pushed them in deep crisis because of market failure to provide right kind of prices both of the produce and finance. Increased unemployment, mounting debt burden and lack of success in diversification attempts led the farmers to commit suicides in Punjab. Farmers’ organizations, political movements and state led resistance to the agrarian crisis have not yet met with success. This paper makes an attempt to examine the agrarian crisis of Punjab with fresh perspective to search for an alternative strategy for resolving the crisis.
    Keywords: Farmers’ Suicides; Indebtedness; Public Policy; Agrarian Crisis; Agriculture sector; Structural Transformation; Indian Punjab.
    JEL: O1 Q14 Q1
    Date: 2006
  3. By: Dax, Thomas
    Abstract: The paper is based on the findings of a 2 year, EU-wide project on the territorial impacts of the CAP (ESPON project 2.1.3). It particularly focuses on the territorial impact of the different components of CAP and assesses the changes towards rural development policy. The results presented are derived from statistical analysis of the database augmented by findings from an EU-wide review of literature and a series of case studies on the implementation experiences of the main rural development measures across the EU. It is shown that pillar 2 support is still strongly centred on agricultural measures and actors and far from reaching its potential for enhancing a more generally applied rural development strategy. The discussion of the paper will focus on the differing national priorities, and the uneven allocation of RDR funds, partly due to difficulties of co-financing in poorer regions. Importantly, analysis of the impact of the Mid Term Review proposals on farm incomes suggests that the latest reforms of the CAP do not improve substantially the consistency between the CAP, and cohesion. In particular, the proposed application of the CAP-reform in different member states shall be discussed and assessed whether the changes in the framework of rural development contribute to achieve a more balanced performance across EU countries and regions.
    Keywords: Common Agricultural Policy (CAP); CAP-reform; rural development; territorial cohesion
    JEL: R58 Q18 Q0
    Date: 2005–08
  4. By: Resende-Filho, Moises; Buhr, Brian
    Abstract: This article investigates the willingness to pay for the National Animal Identification System (NAIS) in the US. We assume that with the NAIS in place, consumers’ risk perception about BSE or mad cow, zoonosis and residues in meat would be mitigated. Therefore, food safety indices for beef, pork and poultry summing the number of references to meat safety found in the top fifty English language news articles in circulation in the US have been constructed. These indices were incorporated in generalized almost ideal demand systems to estimate the effect of those food safety scares on the demand for meat in the US. We found that food safety impacts upon the final demand for meat in the US are small and do not show lagged effects. Using the preferred model, we constructed three scenarios on the basis of hypothesized impacts of the NAIS on consumers' food safety concerns about meat. We use the differences between the predicted total revenue for beef, pork and poultry across scenarios as gross measures of the NAIS’ economic value to the meat sector. Our conclusion is that if the defense of the NAIS is based on its effect on the demand side of the market for meats it is expected that the US Federal government will need to pay for a great part of the costs with the NAIS; otherwise the NAIS is likely to be economically unfeasible in the US.
    Keywords: National Animal Identification System; Meat Safety; System of Demand Equations
    JEL: Q18 Q13 Q11
    Date: 2006–09–01
  5. By: Saito, Tetsuya
    Abstract: Relative efficiencies of antebellum slave farms are suggested by many empirical studies. This paper considers a theoretical aspect of those results using a repeated principal-agent problem. Within its theoretical analysis, with relevance to profitability of slave farms, it will be shown that when inter-temporal punishments are necessary and when they can perform efficiently in production. Applying those theoretical results, some empirical studies on relative profitability and relative efficiencies are discussed. In the empirical study, relative efficiencies of each farm scale—free farms, task farms, and gang farms—are estimated region by region by a stochastic profit frontier model.
    Keywords: Relative efficiency of antebellum slave farms; repeated principal-agent problem; profit maximizing contracts; stick and carrot on plantations
    JEL: N51 C73 J41 C72
    Date: 2005–05
  6. By: Danilo Camargo Igliori
    Date: 2006
  7. By: Ronald G. Felthovan Author=Name: William C. Horrace (Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1020); Kurt E. Schnier
    Abstract: We use a stochastic production frontier model to investigate the presence of heterogeneous production and its impact on fleet capacity and capacity utilization in a multi-species fishery. Furthermore, we propose a new fleet capacity estimate that incorporates complete information on the stochastic differences between each vessel-specific technical efficiency distribution. Results indicate that ignoring heterogeneity in production technologies within a multi-species fishery, as well as the complete distribution of a vessel's technical efficiency socre, may yield erroneous fleet-wide production profiles and estimates of capacity. Furthermore, our new estimate of capacity enables out-of-sample production predictions predicated on either homogeneity or heterogeneity modeling which may be utuilized to facilitate policy.
    Keywords: fishery capacity, heterogeneous production, latent class modeling
    JEL: C23 D24 N50
    Date: 2006–11
  8. By: Dalmazzone Silvana (University of Turin)
    Abstract: A part of the literature on fiscal federalism aver the years has dealt with environmental policy as a particular case of the supply of public goods. The centrai issue is the identification of criteria on how to allocate powers and functions aver environmental management at different levels of govemment. The main stream of literature focuses on the conditions needed to establish whether pollution standards and regulatory programs should be set and designed by centraI or rather by local governments. This paper provides a review of the debate and explores a few potential limits of the prevailing line of enquiry.
    Date: 2006–02
  9. By: Moisés de Andrade Resende Filho; Brian L. Buhr
    Date: 2006

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