nep-agr New Economics Papers
on Agricultural Economics
Issue of 2007‒07‒20
eight papers chosen by
Angelo Zago
University of Verona

  1. "Female Land Rights, Crop Specialization, and Productivity in Paraguayan Agriculture" By Thomas Masterson
  2. The impact of climate change on livestock management in Africa : a structural Ricardian analysis By Seo, Sungno Niggol; Mendelsohn, Robert
  3. Endogenous irrigation : the impact of climate change on farmers in Africa By Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep; Mendelsohn, Robert
  4. Climate change adaptation in Africa : a microeconomic analysis of livestock choice By Seo, Sungno Niggol; Mendelsohn, Robert
  5. Junk Food, Health and Productivity: Taste, Price, Risk and Rationality By Levy, Amnon
  7. A theoretical analysis of rational diet of healthy and junk foods By Levy, Amnon
  8. French Wine and the U.S. Boycott of 2003: Does Politics Really Affect Commerce? By Orley Ashenfelter; Stephen Ciccarella; Howard J. Shatz

  1. By: Thomas Masterson
    Abstract: Previous work has shown a pattern of lower household incomes for those Paraguayan farms with female landowners in the household. The study of agricultural production reveals that Paraguayan women specialize in livestock and dairy production, while men specialize in crop production. An analysis of crop specialization and crop yields finds no significant differences in yields among households along gender lines, although women appear to specialize in food crops. Finally, households with female land rights have markedly lower rates of return on agricultural production.
    Date: 2007–06
  2. By: Seo, Sungno Niggol; Mendelsohn, Robert
    Abstract: This paper develops the structural Ricardian method, a new approach to modeling agricultural performance using cross-sectional evidence, and uses the method to study animal husbandry in Africa. The model is intended to estimate the structure beneath Ricardian results in order to understand how farmers change their behavior in response to climate. A survey of over 5,000 livestock farmers in 10 countries reveals that the selection of species, the net income per animal, and the number of animals are all highly dependent on climate. As climate warms, net income across all animals will fall, especially across beef cattle. The fall in net income causes African farmers to reduce the number of animals on their farms. The fall in relative revenues also causes them to shift away from beef cattle and toward sheep and goats. All farmers will lose income but the most vulnerable farms are large African farms that currently specialize in beef cattle. Small livestock and large livestock farms respond to climates differently. Small farms are diversified, relying on dairy cattle, goats, sheep, and chickens. Large farms specialize in dairy and beef cattle. Estimating a separate multinomial logit selection model for small and large farms reveals that the two types of farm choose species differently and specifically have different climate response functions. The regressions of the number of animals also reveal that large farms are more responsive to climate. The results indicate that warming will be harmful to commercial livestock owners, especially cattle owners. Owners of commercial livestock farms have few a lternatives either in crops or other animal species. In contrast, small livestock farms are better able to adapt to warming or precipitation increases by switching to heat tolerant animals or crops. Livestock operations will be a safety valve for small farmers if warming or drought causes their crops to fail.
    Keywords: Livestock & Animal Husbandry,Wildlife Resources,Rural Urban Linkages,Peri-Urban Communities,Dairies & Dairying
    Date: 2007–07–01
  3. By: Kurukulasuriya, Pradeep; Mendelsohn, Robert
    Abstract: Previous Ricardian analyses of agriculture have either omitted irrigation or treated irrigation as though it is exogenous. In practice, it is a choice by farmers that is sensitive to climate. This paper develops a choice model of irrigation in the context of a Ricardian model of cropland. The authors examine how climate affects the decision to use irrigation and then how climate affects the net revenues of dryland and irrigated land. This Ricardian " selection " model, using a modified Heckman model, is then estimated across 8,400 farmers in Africa. The analysis explicitly models irrigation but controls for the endogeneity of irrigation. The authors find that the choice of irrigation is sensitive to both temperature and precipitation. Simulations of the welfare impacts of several climate scenarios demonstrate that a model which assumes irrigation is exogenous provides a biased estimate of the welfare effects of climate change. If dryland and irrigation are to be estimated separately in the Ricardian model, irrigation must be modeled endogenously. The results also indicate that African agriculture is sensitive to climate change. Many farmers in Africa will experience net revenue losses from warming. Irrigated farms, on the other hand, are more resilient to temperature change and, on the margin, are likely to realize slight gains in productivity. But any reduction in precipitation will be especially deleterious to dryland farmers, generally the po orest segment of the agriculture community. The results indicate that irrigation is an effective adaptation against loss of rainfall and higher temperatures provided there is sufficient water available. This will be an effective remedy in select regions of Africa with water. However, for many regions there is no available surface water, so that warming scenarios with reduced rainfall are particularly deleterious.
    Keywords: Climate Change,Environmental Economics & Policies,Water Supply and Systems,Water Resources Assessment,Global Environment Facility
    Date: 2007–07–01
  4. By: Seo, Sungno Niggol; Mendelsohn, Robert
    Abstract: This paper uses quantitative methods to examine the way African farmers have adapted livestock management to the range of climates found across the African continent. The authors use logit analysis to estimate whether farmers adopt livestock. They then use three econometric models to examine which species farmers choose: a primary choice multinomial logit, an optimal portfolio multinomial logit, and a demand system multivariate probit. Compar ing the results of the three methods of estimating species selection reveals that the three approaches yield similar results. Using data from over 9,000 African livestock farmers in 10 countries, the analysis finds that farmers are more likely to choose to have livestock as temperatures increase and as precipitation decreases. Across all methods of estimating choice, livestock farmers in warmer locations are less likely to choose beef cattle and chickens and more likely to choose goats and sheep. As precipitation increases, cattle and sheep decrease but goats and chickens increase. The authors simulate the way farmers ' choices might change with a set of uniform climate changes and a set of climate model scenarios. The uniform scenarios predict that warming and drying would increase livestock ownership but that increases in precipitation would decrease it. The climate scenarios predict a decrease in the probability of beef cattle and an increase in the probability of sheep and goats, and they predict that more heat-tolerant animals will dominate the future African landscape.
    Keywords: Livestock & Animal Husbandry,Wildlife Resources,Peri-Urban Communities,Rural Urban Linkages,Climate Change
    Date: 2007–07–01
  5. By: Levy, Amnon (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Junk-food consumption, health and productivity are analyzed within an expectedlifetime- utility-maximizing framework in which the probability of living and productivity rise with health and health deteriorate with the consumption of junkfood. So long that the junk food’s relative taste-price differential is positive, the rational diet deviates from the physiologically optimal and renders the levels of health and productivity lower than the maximal. Taxing junk-food can eliminate this discrepancy but the outcome is not Pareto-superior. The value of health and the stationary junk-food consumption and health depend on the relative taste-price differential, survival and satisfaction elasticities and time preference-rate.
    Keywords: junk-food, healthy-food, relative taste, relative price, health, risk, lifequality,productivity, rationality, self-control
    JEL: I12 D91
    Date: 2006
  6. By: Cunha, Miguel Pina e; Cardoso, Carlos Cabral; Clegg, Steawrt R.
    Abstract: Organizations have, in the past, often been discussed as if they were Cartesian mentalities, planning agendas, learning from doing, processing information, reducing equivocality, mimicking and copying, floating disembodiedly apart from the actors who work in these organizations. We are offered representations of organizations as organically grounded metaphors that minimize the biological facticity of employees: namely, their need for food. While the inputs to organizations conceived as if they were quasi-systems are well explored, and the emotional and ‘irrational’ side of organizations is increasingly explored, the necessity of inputs to the biological systems that staff them is not. Nonetheless, despite the lack of explicit scholarly attention to food at work, its importance guarantees its hidden presence in the organizational literature, often in the context of more “serious” themes. We identify four approaches to the relationship between food, work and organization. For dessert, we propose a research menu that aims to uncover several possibilities for making the role of food in organizational life more explicit.
    Date: 2007
  7. By: Levy, Amnon (University of Wollongong)
    Abstract: Junk-food consumption, health and productivity are analysed within an expectedlifetime- utility-maximising framework in which longevity and productivity rise with health, and health deteriorates with the consumption of junk food. As long as the junk food’s relative taste-price differential is positive, rational diets deviate from the physiologically optimal ones and generate lower than maximal levels of health and productivity. Taxing junk food can eliminate this discrepancy, but the outcome is not Pareto-superior. The value of health and the steady-state levels of rational junk-food consumption, health and productivity depend on the consumer’s tastes, prices, endurance, appetite and time preferences.
    Keywords: Taste; Price; Endurance; Appetite; Time-preferences
    JEL: I12 D91
    Date: 2007
  8. By: Orley Ashenfelter; Stephen Ciccarella; Howard J. Shatz
    Abstract: In early 2003, France actively tried to thwart the plans of the Bush administration to build international support for a war to depose Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein. In response, calls in the United States for a boycott of French products, wine in particular, rebounded through all forms of media. In the spring of 2003, French business people even reported that the boycott calls were hurting their U.S. sales. Using a dataset of sales of nearly 4,700 individual wine brands, we show that there actually was no boycott effect. Rather, sales of French wine dipped for two reasons. First, they experience a cyclical peak at holiday time, from November through early January, and the boycott was called during the February to May period. Second, sales of French wine have been in a secular decline in the United States. Sales in February through May 2003 merely stayed on trend. We contrast our results with other recent work that has found evidence of a boycott effect but that omits the holiday effect from several specifications. French wine producers may be having economic problems, but it is not because of their government's foreign policy.
    JEL: D12 F14 L66 Q17
    Date: 2007–07

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