New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2006‒12‒16
eleven papers chosen by

  1. Agriculture, Diffusion,and Development: Ripple Effects of the Neolithic Revolutions By Louis Putterman
  2. Intra-Industry Trade, Multilateral Trade Integration, and Invasive Species Risk By Tu, Anh T.; Beghin, John C.
  3. Nontariff Barriers By Beghin, John C.
  4. Fairness in Urban Land Use: An Evolutionary Contribution to Law & Economics By Christian Schubert
  5. Honesty of Signaling and Pollinator Attraction: The Case of Flag-Like Bracts By Tamar Keasar; Gad Pollak; Rachel Arnon; Dan Cohen; Avi Shmida
  6. The Effect of Monetary Policy on Real Commodity Prices By Jeffrey A. Frankel
  7. Rural Development, Environmental Sustainability, and Poverty Alleviation: A Critique of Current Paradigms By Susanne D. Mueller
  8. Aid and Economic Development in Africa By Bigsten, Arne
  9. Development and Social Goals: Balancing Aid and Development to Prevent ‘Welfare Colonialism’ By Erik S. Reinert
  10. Développement rural et environnement By Matilde Alonso
  11. Collective penalties and inducement of self-reporting By Katrin Millock; David Zilberman

  1. By: Louis Putterman
    Date: 2006
  2. By: Tu, Anh T.; Beghin, John C.
    Abstract: We analyze the linkage between protectionism and invasive species (IS) hazard in the context of two-way trade and multilateral trade integration, two major features of real-world agricultural trade. Multilateral integration includes the joint reduction of tariffs and trade costs among trading partners. Multilateral trade integration is more likely to increase damages from IS than predicted by unilateral trade opening under the classic Heckscher-Ohlin-Samuelson (HOS) framework because domestic production (the base susceptible to damages) is likely to increase with expanding export markets. A country integrating its trade with a partner characterized by relatively higher tariff and trade costs is also more likely to experience increased IS damages via expanded domestic production for the same reason. We illustrate our analytical results with a stylized model of the world wheat market.
    Keywords: exotic pest, intra-industry trade, invasive species, liberalization, trade cost, trade integration, trade protection, two-way trade.
    Date: 2006–12–11
  3. By: Beghin, John C.
    Abstract: Nontariff barriers (NTBs) refer to the wide range of policy interventions other than border tariffs that affect trade of goods, services, and factors of production. Most taxonomies of NTBs include market-specific trade and domestic policies affecting trade in that market. Extended taxonomies include macro-economic policies affecting trade. NTBs have gained importance as tariff levels have been reduced worldwide. Common measures of NTBs include tariff-equivalents of the NTB policy or policies and count and frequency measures of NTBs. These NTB measures are subsequently used in various trade models, including gravity equations, to assess trade and/or welfare effects of the measured NTBs.
    Keywords: externality and trade, nontariff barrier, NTB, protectionism, sanitary and phytosanitary, SPS, standards, TBT, technical barrier to trade.
    Date: 2006–12–08
  4. By: Christian Schubert
    Abstract: Markets for complex, multi-faceted goods normally require a complex institutional framework to function properly, i.e., to lead to patterns of outcomes that are deemed acceptable by the individuals involved. This paper examines the institutional underpinnings of the market for urban land use rights, taking both German and U.S. public and private land use law as a case in point. Apart from efficiency considerations that have been discussed in the literature, the individuals' preferences regarding the fairness of (i) the contents of urban land use rights and (ii) the distribution of costs and benefits induced by innovative land uses have been largely neglected. It is argued that investigating the impact of these preferences (and the underlying informal fairness norms) on the legal treatment of land use rights provides a key opportunity to construct an alternative Law & Economics approach that is compatible with an evolutionary perspective on economic land use decisions.
    Keywords: externalities, takings, land use law, distributive fairness, procedural fairness
    JEL: K11 R13 R14
    Date: 2006–12
  5. By: Tamar Keasar; Gad Pollak; Rachel Arnon; Dan Cohen; Avi Shmida
    Abstract: Bracts are nonfloral showy structures associated with inflorescences. They are generally hypothesized to enhance plant reproductive success by attracting pollinating insects. We investigated whether flag-like bracts at the top of inflorescences reliably signal of floral food reward for pollinators in Salvia viridis L. Field and greenhouse data indicate incomplete synchrony between the development of flowers and bracts. Various measures of bract size, however, positively correlate with the number of open flowers on the inflorescence, and with their nectar rewards. Experimental removal of bracts from inflorescences significantly reduced honeybee visitation in the field. We compared these findings with field data on Lavandula stoechas L., another labiate species with flag-like displays. The number of open flowers in L. stoechas cannot be reliably predicted from the presence or size of the bracts. Bract clipping does not significantly reduce honeybee visits in this species. We conjecture that bees learn to orient to those bracts that reliably signal food rewards, and disregard bracts if they provide unreliable signals. Asynchronous development of bracts and floral rewards can reduce the reliability of the signals, and may explain the rarity of flag-like displays in pollination systems. We discuss additional selective forces that may favor bract displays.
    Keywords: Flag-Like Bract; Extra-Floral Display; Pollination Ecology; Signaling; Honeybee; Phenology; Lavandula; Salvia
    Date: 2006–12
  6. By: Jeffrey A. Frankel
    Abstract: Commodity prices are back. This paper looks at connections between monetary policy, and agricultural and mineral commodities. We begin with the monetary influences on commodity prices, first for a large country such as the United States, then smaller countries. The claim is that low real interest rates lead to high real commodity prices. The theory is an analogy with Dornbusch overshooting. The relationship between real interest rates and real commodity prices is also supported empirically. One channel through which this effect is accomplished is a negative effect of interest rates on the desire to carry commodity inventories. The paper concludes with a consideration of implications for monetary policy.
    JEL: E4 E5 F3 Q0
    Date: 2006–12
  7. By: Susanne D. Mueller
    Abstract: Donors have developed new micro-level and local paradigms to address rural development, environmental sustainability, and poverty alleviation to bypass, ignore, and substitute for badly functioning and corrupt states. Yet, states still set the macro-economic, legal, and policy parameters or “rules of the game” within which other entities operate, and many non-state actors are only nominally independent. Hence, technical initiatives stemming from these paradigms, aimed at growth and equity are often theoretically misconceived and tend to fail when implemented. The paper critically discusses the new paradigms, including decentralization, civil society, microentrepreneurship, and capacity building, among others, mainly using African examples.
    Keywords: economic development, formal and informal and insitutional arrangements, development planning and policy, economic development, regional urban and rural analyses, formal and informal sectors, institutional arrangements, institutional linkages to development.
    JEL: O10 O17 O20 O18 O19
    Date: 2006–01
  8. By: Bigsten, Arne (Department of Economics, School of Business, Economics and Law, Göteborg University)
    Abstract: The question discussed in this in this paper is whether foreign aid can help accelerate growth in African countries. The paper reviews growth determinants and growth constraints in Africa and discusses how aid can help relieve the constraints. Issues covered are the choice of aid modalities, donor coordination, conditionality, and international integration. A key question addressed is how aid should be organised not to overburden the recipient system and to provide incentives for policy makers to perform. The paper also touches upon the need for international trade reforms and public goods investments. <p>
    Keywords: Aid; development; Africa.
    JEL: F35 O19
    Date: 2006–11–30
  9. By: Erik S. Reinert
    Abstract: The current development policy focus on poverty reduction is erroneous. Historically, successful development policy—from the late fifteenth century until the beginning of the twenty-first—has achieved structural change away from dependence on raw materials and agriculture, adding specialized manufacturing and services subject to increasing returns with a complex division of labour. In contrast, the Millennium Development Goals are heavily biased in favour of palliative economics: alleviating the symptoms of poverty, rather than attacking its real causes. This creates a system of ‘welfare colonialism’ increasing the dependence of poor countries, thereby hindering, rather than promoting, long-term structural change.
    Keywords: Millennium Development Goals, economic development, palliative economics, welfare colonialism
    JEL: F02 F13 O10 O19
    Date: 2006–01
  10. By: Matilde Alonso (LCE – REAL - Langues et cultures européennes Histoire des idées : Europe - Amérique latine REAL - [Université Lumière - Lyon II])
    Abstract: La micro-région de Tomina constitue une partie du département de Chuquisaca (Bolivie). Un département situé dans les vallées inter-andines où la coopération au développement de l'Union européenne s'est proposée de financer des projets de développement rural à partir du Programme des Micro-Projets Ruraux (PMPR) en vue promouvoir l'économie du territoire et de lutter contre la pauvreté. <br />Tandis que la Bolivie connaît une récupération économique générale, l'incidence de la récupération économique sur la structure productive primaire de Chuquisaca connaît des limites. L'étude du modèle de développement de la micro-région de Tomina permet de comprendre que ce sont les facteurs endogènes qui peuvent donner une explication aux problèmes du développement de la réalité du département. On ne pourrait pas nier l'existence des facteurs exogènes, mais notre diagnostic montre davantage la contribution des facteurs endogènes.
    Keywords: Amérique Latine ; Bolivie ; développement rural ; environnement
    Date: 2006–12–09
  11. By: Katrin Millock (CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - [CNRS : UMR8174] - [Université Panthéon-Sorbonne - Paris I]); David Zilberman (Department of Agricultural and Ressource Economics - [University of California, Berkeley])
    Abstract: Random accidents can be contained by collective penalties. These penalties are not likely to be enforced but rather induce self-reporting that enhances welfare due to early containment. Self-reporting under collective penalties increases overall welfare, but may increase expected environmental cost. Even when regulation is constrained by an upper limit on the acceptable collective penalty, the threat of collective penalties can induce an incentive-compatible mutual insurance scheme under which a side-payment is made to the agent that self-reports an accident. This self-reporting mechanism is welfare-improving, but first-best outcomes can only be obtained when the collective penalty is unconstrained, or when an honor system applies. In cases when there is a new externality that requires fast response (avian flu), collective penalties can compliment or substitute for monitoring.
    Keywords: Ambient tax, collective penalties, enforcement, self-reporting.
    Date: 2006–12–06

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