nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒07‒07
fourteen papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. A Global Land Use and Biomass Approach to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions, Fossil Fuel Use and to Preserve Biodiversity By Arthur Riedacker
  2. Modeling Linkages Between Climate Policy and Land Use: An Overview By Edwin van der Werf; Sonja Peterson
  3. POVERTY AND LAND POLICY IN CAMBODIA By Engvall, Anders; Kokko, Ari
  4. Information asymmetry and traceability systems incentives on food safety efforts By Resende-Filho, Moises
  5. Child Labor and Schooling Response to Changes in Coca Production in Rural Peru By Ana C. Dammert
  6. Crop Yield Skewness under the Law of Minimum Technology By David A. Hennessy
  7. Understanding the spatial organization of agricultural co-operative groups (In French) By Maryline FILIPPI (EGERIE-GRES); Olivier FREY (Coop de France & INRA-SAD); Pierre TRIBOULET (INRA-SAD)
  8. Long-run Determinants of Pollution: A Robustness Analysis By Michael Lamla
  9. Calidad objetiva y su relación con la formación y la satisfacción del empresario: El caso de los alojamientos rurales españoles By Hernández Maestro, Rosa María; Muñoz-Gallego, Pablo A.; Santos Requejo, Libia
  10. Subjective Well-being and its Determinants in Rural China By John Knight; Lina Song; Ramani Gunatilaka
  11. Empirical Study on Costs and Incomes of Organic Farming By Josep Maria Argiles Bosch
  12. Will the Doha Round Lead to Preference Erosion? By Amiti, Mary; Romalis, John
  13. The Environmental Kuznets Curve in a World of Irreversibility By Fabien Prieur
  14. Formal and Informal Risk Sharing in LDCs: Theory and Empirical Evidence By Pierre Dubois; Bruno Jullien; Thierry Magnac

  1. By: Arthur Riedacker (INRA Unité Mona)
    Abstract: As average growth consumptions per capita and world population will continue to grow, the promotion of sustainable developments during the next half a century implies to take into account environmental aspects, local potentialities and futures changes in population as well climatic, economic and social factors. At the global level, land and fossil fuel availability per capita, capacity of absorption of greenhouse gas emissions are considered the most important environmental factors. Whereas at local levels are to be considered preservation or improvement of soil fertility, of water regimes, of quality of air, soil and water. Biodiversity must be taken into account at both levels to cope also with climate change. But as underlined by IPCC lead authors, up to now there is no tool available to deal with these issues in a comprehensive and adequate manner. A new tool, presented here, the Integrated Environmental Assessment (IEA) has therefore been developed. It takes into account all actions, from the sun to final services, in three stages: solar energy bioconversion and phytomass production at I; conversion of phytomass and non renewable resources into final products and waste disposal at II ; arrangement of products to meet final needs, such as nutrition, housing mobility etc. at III. IEAs start at the global level with the “GIEA” , the results of which are then to be confronted with constraints at local levels from “LIEAs”. This new tool can be used to identify impacts of technological changes in land management and to compare alternative practices better than with LCAs. It was used to analyze environmental impacts of technological changes between 1950 and 2000 in France, in wheat production at stage I. It appeared that not only yields, but also the primary mitigation potential (PMP) per hectare have been multiplied by 4, whereas the net primary energy gain per ha has been multiplied by 3.2. Besides this, 14,5 Mha (the area of the French forest about a quarter of France) land use change could be avoided; in the case of deforestation this would have led to the emission of more than 4 billion tons of CO2. Lessons are drawn from the past and for the next fifty years: In developed and industrialized countries, alternative managements of land and increased use of non food phytomass can and should be envisaged. In Sub-Saharan Africa population is expected to double during the next 50 years and soil fertility is drastically decreasing; agricultural practices are no longer sustainable. If no changes appear in agriculture, forests and GHG emission from deforestation as well as biodiversity are threatened by further and inevitable land use change. Increasing yields per hectare should therefore become the priority; it would at the same time increase food security, improve mitigation and adaptation to climate change, help to combat deforestation and desertification, better preserve biodiversity, and ultimately also allow more bioenergy production: This would improve the food security and at the same time help to achieve the objectives of the three main UN environmental conventions and of the UN Millennium Goal.
    Keywords: Greenhouse Gas Emission, Fossil Fuel, Biodiversity
    JEL: Q23 Q27
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Edwin van der Werf (Kiel Institute for the World Economy); Sonja Peterson (Kiel Institute for the World Economy)
    Abstract: Agriculture and forestry play an important role in emitting and storing greenhouse gases. For an efficient and cost-effective climate policy it is therefore important to explicitly include land use, land use change, and forestry (LULUCF) in economy-climate models. This paper gives an overview and assessment of existing approaches to include land use, land-use change, and forestry into climate-economy models or to link economy-climate models to land-use models.
    Keywords: Climate Change, Climate Policy, Modeling, Land Use
    JEL: Q23 Q24 Q25 Q42
    Date: 2007–05
  3. By: Engvall, Anders (European Institute of Japanese Studies); Kokko, Ari (European Institute of Japanese Studies)
    Abstract: Slow agricultural development has restrained economic growth and poverty alleviation in Cambodia. The country's volatile history has left a legacy of weak tenure security and large areas of underutilized land. This study estimates the impact of access to land on poverty in a logistic regression framework using household survey data. Increased access to land is shown to significantly lower the risk of household poverty. Tenure security, land improvements and irrigation strengthens this effect. Simulations of the potential impact of a land reform package predicts a 16 percentage points fall in poverty incidence among landowning rural households and a 30-point fall when targeting the landless. The analysis suggests that improved tenure security should be at the top of the policy agenda. Given political and economic constraints, implementation of reforms remains a key challenge.
    Keywords: Cambodia; Economic Development; Poverty; Property Rights; Land Reform
    JEL: I32 O12 O53 Q12 Q15
    Date: 2007–06–01
  4. By: Resende-Filho, Moises
    Abstract: This article investigates the effects of a traceability system’s expected traceback rate of success and contingent payments on the food safety effort to be exerted by raw material suppliers. It sheds light on when contingent payments and the reliability of traceability systems are substitutes and complements one to each other in terms of inducing raw material suppliers to exert higher food safety efforts. It also investigates, in a symmetric information setting, the effect of higher penalties and/or costs of food safety crisis on the level of effort that buyers (principal) would contract suppliers (agents) to exert. The asymmetric information setting is formalized as a principal-agent model but left to be explored in a future work. It is shown that more reliable traceability systems can induce higher food safety efforts by suppliers. Yet, this same result can be accomplished by employing a contingent payment scheme that rewards the agents with high payments whenever no food safety crisis occurs and the agent identity is preserved and punishes the agents with low payments whenever a food safety crisis occurs and the identity of the suppliers is preserved by the traceability system. Finally, it is shown that without a traceability system in place no incentive scheme could be implemented. A numerical exercise is carried out to illustrate the main findings.
    Keywords: Information Asymmetry; Identity Preservation; Food Traceability; Supply Chain Management
    JEL: C61 D86 D82
    Date: 2007–07–04
  5. By: Ana C. Dammert (McMaster University and IZA)
    Abstract: Coca eradication and interdiction are the most common policies aimed at reducing the production and distribution of cocaine in the Andes, but little is known about their impact on households. This paper uses the shift in the production of coca leaves from Peru to Colombia in 1995 to analyze the indirect effects of the anti-coca policy on children’s allocation of time. After different sensitivity checks, the results indicate that a decrease in coca production is associated with increases in work and hours children living in coca-growing states devote to work within and outside the household, with no effects on schooling outcomes. These findings suggest a previously undocumented indirect effect of drug policies on household behavior.
    Keywords: child labor, schooling, coca production, Peru
    JEL: J13 J22 O15 R23
    Date: 2007–06
  6. By: David A. Hennessy (Center for Agricultural and Rural Development (CARD))
    Abstract: A large empirical literature exists seeking to identify crop yield distributions. Consensus has not yet formed. This is in part because of data aggregation problems but also in part because no satisfactory motivation has been forwarded in favor of any distribution, including the normal. This article explores the foundations of crop yield distributions for the Law of the Minimum, or weakest-link, resource constraint technology. It is shown that heterogeneity in resource availabilities can increase expected yield. The role of stochastic dependence is studied for the technology. With independent, identical, uniform resource availability distributions the yield skew is positive, whereas it is negative whenever the distributions are normal. Simulations show how asymmetries in resource availabilities determine skewness. Extreme value theory is used to suggest a negative yield skew whenever production is in a tightly controlled environment so that the left tails of resource availability distributions are thin.
    Keywords: beta-normal distribution, crop insurance, extreme value theory, Liebig technology, limiting factors, order statistics, reliability, weakest link.
    Date: 2007–07
  7. By: Maryline FILIPPI (EGERIE-GRES); Olivier FREY (Coop de France & INRA-SAD); Pierre TRIBOULET (INRA-SAD)
    Abstract: The processes of localization/delocalization of activities attest that space is important in firm’s strategies. Merger and acquisition contributes too modify the spatial organization of firms. This paper aims at analyzing the spatial organization at the level of groups of firms. The conceptual framework combines an analysis in terms of proximity and theories of the firm. We study the co-operative agricultural groups, which are relevant to question the territorial anchoring of the firm. Spatial indicators are proposed and mobilized at different levels of organization of the groups. Results show the importance of territorial anchoring in the strategies of co-operatives heads of the group. However, the development of big co-operative groups could lead to changes in the spatial logics facing a context of globalization.
    Keywords: NAAgricultural cooperatives, Mutualist control, Territorial anchoring
    JEL: C81 G34 Q12
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Michael Lamla (KOF Swiss Economic Institute, ETH Zurich)
    Abstract: This paper examines how robust economic, political, and demographic variables are related to water and air pollution. Employing Bayesian Averaging of Classical Estimates (BACE) for a cross section of up to 74 countries, 33 variables and 3 proxies for air and water pollution over a period from 1980 to 1995 we confirm the Environmental Kuznets Curve hypothesis, highlight the relevance of effcient production technologies and underline the role of political and demographic variables.
    Keywords: pollution; sensitivity analysis; BACE
    JEL: C52 O13 Q53
    Date: 2007–05
  9. By: Hernández Maestro, Rosa María (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca); Muñoz-Gallego, Pablo A. (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca); Santos Requejo, Libia (Departamento de Administración y Economía de la Empresa, Facultad de Economía y Empresa, Universidad de Salamanca)
    Abstract: La revisión de la literatura desvela una relación entre el perfil del pequeño empresario y la competitividad del negocio que regenta. A su vez, observamos la progresiva utilización de estándares de calidad en el sector del turismo rural, bien por parte de la Administración o por asociaciones privadas. El desarrollo de estándares se debe a los resultados empresariales positivos que se atribuyen a la existencia de calidad en la empresa. Así, en esta investigación se analiza la influencia de la formación y la satisfacción del encargado de un establecimiento de turismo rural sobre la calidad objetiva de dicho establecimiento. Los resultados revelan que la formación, tanto específica como no específica, y la satisfacción determinan un diseño de la oferta orientado hacia la calidad de servicio. El tipo de oferta se mide mediante indicadores objetivos elaborados a partir de un amplio proceso que incluye una revisión de la literatura sobre calidad percibida, así como entrevistas en profundidad y evaluación posterior por parte de expertos del sector.
    Keywords: calidad objetiva, formación, satisfacción, pequeño empresario, turismo rural
    Date: 2006–12
  10. By: John Knight; Lina Song; Ramani Gunatilaka
    Abstract: A national household survey for 2002, containing a specially designed module on subjective well-being, is used to estimate pioneering happiness functions in rural China. The variables predicted by economic theory to be important for happiness are relatively unimportant. The analysis suggests that we need to draw on psychology and sociology if we are to understand. Rural China is not a hotbed of dissatisfaction with life, possibly because most people are found to confine their reference groups to the village. Relative income within the village and relative income over time, both in the past and expected in the future, are shown to influence happiness. `Subjective well-being poverty` functions are estimated, in which income and various proxies for `capabilities` and `functionings` appear as arguments. Even amidst the poverty of rural China, social functionings, attitudes and expectations are important to subjective well-being.
    Keywords: Happiness, Subjective Well-being, Aspirations, Relative Deprivation, Reference Groups, Poverty, China
    JEL: I31
    Date: 2007
  11. By: Josep Maria Argiles Bosch (Universitat de Barcelona)
    Abstract: This paper conducts an empirical study on output, costs and incomes in organic farming with a sample of Spanish firms. Financial accounting data reveals that organic and partly or transitional to organic farming do not get significantly different output than intensive farming. Farms in transition to organic farming bear significantly higher costs and obtain significantly lower income than intensive farming. Costs were recalculated incorporating opportunity costs of family work. Organic and transitional farming displayed significantly higher costs and lower relative income. However, organic farming plays a social role generating more employment than intensive farming and avoiding environmental and health damages. The article recalls for the necessity for accounting to broaden its scope and contents. It should disclose social and environmental data, as well as transactions that are not marketed, registered or valued but yield social profits and costs.
    Keywords: transition to organic farming., organic farming, environmental accounting
    JEL: M10 M40 M41
    Date: 2007
  12. By: Amiti, Mary; Romalis, John
    Abstract: This paper assesses the effects of reducing tariffs under the Doha Round on market access for developing countries. It shows that for many developing countries, actual preferential access is less generous than it appears because of low product coverage or complex rules of origin. Thus lowering tariffs under the multilateral system is likely to lead to a net increase in market access for many developing countries, with gains in market access offsetting losses from preference erosion. Furthermore, comparing various tariff-cutting proposals, the research shows that the largest gains in market access are generated by higher tariff cuts in agriculture.
    Keywords: developing countries; market access; preference erosion; tariffs; WTO
    JEL: F12 F13 F15
    Date: 2007–06
  13. By: Fabien Prieur (GREQAM and INRA-LAMETA)
    Abstract: We develop an overlapping generations model where consumption is the source of polluting emissions. Pollution stock accumulates with emissions but is partially assimilated by nature at each period. The assimilation capacity of nature is limited and vanishes beyond a critical level of pollution. We first show that multiple equilibria exist. More importantly, some exhibit irreversible pollution levels although an abatement activity is operative. Thus, the simple engagement of maintenance does not necessarily suffice to protect an economy against convergence toward a steady state having the properties of an ecological and economic poverty trap. In contrast with earlier related studies, the emergence of the environmental Kuznets curve is no longer the rule. Instead, we detect a sort of degenerated Environmental Kuznets Curve that corresponds to the equilibrium trajectory leading to the irreversible solution.
    Keywords: Overlapping Generations, Irreversible Pollution, Poverty Trap, Environmental Kuznets Curve
    JEL: Q56 D62 D91
    Date: 2007–05
  14. By: Pierre Dubois (University of Toulouse (GREMAQ, IDEI, INRA)); Bruno Jullien (University of Toulouse (GREMAQ, IDEI)); Thierry Magnac (University of Toulouse (GREMAQ, IDEI) and IZA)
    Abstract: We develop and estimate a model of dynamic interactions between households where commitment is limited and contracts are incomplete to explain the patterns of income and consumption growth in village economies of less developed countries. Households can insure through both formal contracts and informal agreements, that is, agreements specifying voluntary transfers that need to be self-enforceable. This theoretical setting nests the case of complete markets and the case where only informal agreements are available. We derive a system of non-linear equations for income and consumption growth. A key prediction of our model is that both variables are affected by lagged consumption as a consequence of the interplay of formal and informal contracting possibilities. In a semi-parametric setting, we prove identification, derive testable restrictions and estimate the model with the use of data from Pakistan villages. Empirical results are consistent with the economic arguments. Incentive constraints due to self-enforcement bind with positive probability and formal contracts are used to reduce this probability.
    Keywords: risk sharing, contracts, incomplete markets, informal transfers
    JEL: C14 D13 D91 L14 O12
    Date: 2007–05

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